NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 A2.02-9886
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Combustion for Aerospace Vehicles
PROPOSAL TITLE: Novel Catalyst Development for Synthetic Endothermic Fuels

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Physical Sciences, Inc.
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 689-0003

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Bryan Bergeron
20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810 - 1077
(978) 689-0003

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 1 to 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Physical Sciences Incorporated (PSI) and United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) propose to develop, characterize, and evaluate the performance of innovative nanocatalysts that are homogeneously dispersed (0.01 % - 0.1 % by wt.) within a synthetic endothermic hydrocarbon fuel for ramjet, scramjet, and Rocket-Based Combined-Cycle (RBCC) applications. Coke build-up will be significantly reduced since the catalyst will be expelled with the product gases and liquids from the cracking system into the combustion zone. Increased cracking efficiencies will result using the nanocatalyst due to the higher surface area/volume and dramatically enhanced settling times compared to conventional microcatalysts. As a result, higher heat sinks due to endothermic cracking will be obtained. The reaction product distribution and efficiencies of the nanocatalytic hydrocarbon cracking reaction will be measured using standard chromatography methods. Use of the alternative synthetic fuel is advantageous due to its low sulfur content, high thermal stability, high endotherm, and production through a non-petroleum based reaction. In Phase II, new nanocatalysts will be synthesized, characterized, and tested. Catalytic efficiency will be optimized. The implications of the nanocatalyst on combustion performance will be evaluated.
This program comprises TRLs 1 through 3 within Phase 1.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
We believe that the proposed nanocatalysts will lead to significant improvement for propulsion systems that rely upon cracking of synthetic endothermic fuels. The novel catalyst may also act as a reaction site for liquid propellant combustion in air-breathing and conventional systems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
DoD and DoE could benefit significantly from advances in hydrocarbon cracking. For example, AF has complementary ongoing programs using synthetic endothermic fuels, and is currently positioned to test the new X-51 WaveRider. Homogeneously dispersed catalysts in crude and processed bio-oil could yield new approaches to produce alternative energy for DoE/DoD, particularly in commercial markets such as the automotive and heating industry.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Aircraft Engines
Renewable Energy

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:50