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Author: Subject: ethyl rocket motors
pipercherokee14
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thumbup.gif posted on 5-9-2003 at 21:09
ethyl rocket motors


im trying to figure out if it is possible to make etthyl alcohol rocket motors like thaty do in October Sky when they make it using moonshine if anybody has imfo or recipe that would ber extremely helpful
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Madog
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[*] posted on 6-9-2003 at 12:30


they were just useing it as a liquid to turn the chlorate fuel into a goo/paste stuff so when they loaded the fuel it woudlnt have air spaces, which were causeing catos.

ethanol was not the actual fuel.




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[*] posted on 6-9-2003 at 16:32


why do you need it for a physics project?



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CPC
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[*] posted on 8-7-2006 at 20:05


Heads up. According to Homer Hickam himself (October Sky/Rocket Boys author) they used KNO3/Sugar or zinc/sulphur for their propellant. The alcohol was for what was already said (eliminating air bubbles).



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Douchermann
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[*] posted on 9-7-2006 at 13:59


Don't know if anyone caught this, but when they were in the lab (in the movie). The intelligent redhead (forgot his name) said that their fuel should be a mixture of potassium chlorate and sulfur. Potassium chlorate and sulfur when mixed stoicheometrically burns very slowly with a purple flame.



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[*] posted on 9-7-2006 at 14:10


Quote:
Originally posted by Douchermann
Don't know if anyone caught this, but when they were in the lab (in the movie). The intelligent redhead (forgot his name) said that their fuel should be a mixture of potassium chlorate and sulfur. Potassium chlorate and sulfur when mixed stoicheometrically burns very slowly with a purple flame.


A mixture of potassium chlorate and sulfur can ignite by itself and should not be used for rocke fuel or anything else.




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Swany
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[*] posted on 11-7-2006 at 11:10


Chlorates and sulfur tend to be suicidal. If the sulfur contains acid traces, autroignition is a very real problem. Chlorates are instable as is, sulfur is used to lower ignition temps., and therefor the two make a bad combination.

It is a movie, after all. Like urea nitrate being 10x as powerful as dynamite. And whatever else crocks of shit exist. I won't rant.




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Douchermann
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[*] posted on 11-7-2006 at 14:01


Yes I know its dangerous, thats why I mentioned it. A stoicheometric mix of chlorate and sulfur can detonate however, I have a video of 20g detonating if anyone would care to see it. Don't flame me for mixing potassium chlorate and sulfur, just chill out.



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[*] posted on 11-7-2006 at 14:12


Quote:
Originally posted by Douchermann
A stoicheometric mix of chlorate and sulfur can detonate however, I have a video of 20g detonating if anyone would care to see it.


Yes. Please post it.




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Douchermann
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[*] posted on 11-7-2006 at 19:30


http://www.douchermann.a0tu.com/videos/20g%20CSX.wmv

All of my videos can be found
http://www.douchermann.a0tu.com/videos.html




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[*] posted on 12-7-2006 at 07:11


Quote:
Originally posted by Douchermann
A stoicheometric mix of chlorate and sulfur can detonate


Can potassium permanganate/sulfur detonate?




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[*] posted on 14-7-2006 at 08:24


I don't know, but I wouldn't try it. Personally I'm not a fan of any mixtures with potassium permanganate, including flash powders.



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[*] posted on 14-7-2006 at 09:24


Lol, when I was younger one of my favourite mixtures was potassium permanganate with red phosphorus :o.

Now I wouldn't use permanganate for anything except organic oxidations, and even then it's normally too strong.
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[*] posted on 18-7-2006 at 17:44


You can use ethanol in rockets, it must just be a liquid motor. If you don't want to do this (extremely complicated and difficult to construct) you could make a "tribrid." This is a hybrid motor with injected ethanol to increase thrust. A hybrid, incase you didn't know, uses a liquid oxidizer, usually in the form of N2O, and a solid fuel. The fuel can be anything from rubber, to PVC, to cast HTPB/Al and anything else.

I haven't studied tribrids much, but RattWorks is who marketed them in HPR. I spose you could have a seperate tank for the ethanol and presurize it with He or N, then inject it in such a way that it swirls across the fuel grain, mixing with an "X" injected from of N2O.

Hmm....I might just have to test that out myself.




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[*] posted on 19-7-2006 at 05:36


Hypergolic mixtures are indeed not idealy suited for most amature rocket enthusiasts, although the design of such an engine is very simple indeed, in Practice, it is far from the case.

edit: NickF " when I was younger one of my favourite mixtures was potassium permanganate with red phosphorus "

I`ve never tried that mixture before, thanks for the idea, I`ll try that in miligram quantities, and try determine its properties, I`ve done all the Chorate/nitrates/perchorates with it, never consider KMnO4, Cheerz :)


[Edited on 19-7-2006 by YT2095]




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[*] posted on 7-3-2007 at 18:54


Quote:
Originally posted by Douchermann
Don't know if anyone caught this, but when they were in the lab (in the movie). The intelligent redhead (forgot his name) said that their fuel should be a mixture of potassium chlorate and sulfur. Potassium chlorate and sulfur when mixed stoicheometrically burns very slowly with a purple flame.


I'm not sure how closely you watched the movie, but when they were in the lab the "red head" said it was a mixture of potassium chlorate and sugar not sulfur! =)
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[*] posted on 8-3-2007 at 04:05


The original question was whether or not alcohol could be used as a liquid rocket fuel, and I believe the answer, historically is YES. IIRC the Germans used methanol or ethanol as one of the two fuels for the V2. The other, H2O2? I don't remember. I have been up close and personal with the V2 at the Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. But it was a few decades ago.

My description above was not perfect. Here's the straight scoop:
The V2 was an unmanned, guided, ballistic missile. It was guided by an advanced gyroscopic system that sent signals to aerodynamic steering tabs on the fins and vanes in the exhaust. It was propelled by an alcohol (a mixture of 75% ethyl alcohol and 25% water), and liquid oxygen fuel. The two liquids were delivered to the thrust chamber by two rotary pumps, driven by a steam turbine. The steam turbine operated at 5,000 rpm on two auxiliary fuels, namely hydrogen peroxide (80 %) and a mixture of 66% sodium permanganate with water 33%. This system generated about 55,000 lbs (24947 kg) of thrust at the start, which increased to 160,000 lbs (72574 kg) when the maximum speed was reached. The motor typically burned for 60 seconds, pushing the rocket to around 4,400 ft/second (1341 m/sec). It rose to an altitude of 52 to 60 miles (83 to 93 km) and had a range of 200 to 225 miles (321 to 362 km). The V2 carried an explosive warhead (Amatol Fp60/40) weighing approximately 738 kg (1 ton) that was capable of flattening a city block. It was first fired operationally on Sept. 8, 1944 against Paris then London, this was the beginning of the V2 campaign


Anyway, getting chemical information off of movies or TV is mighty foolish, like asking a monkey to help you with calculus. "Hey, Bonzo, how do you deal with a Laplace transform? Have a banana." Eek eek.

[Edited on 8-3-2007 by Sauron]
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