December 22, 2010
Swedish researchers have discover a better rocket fuel called Trinitramid
Trinitramid is a new molecule which, among other things, is a possible component in future rocket fuels. Trinitramid should be 20-30 percent effective in comparison with the best rocket fuel available today.
A rule of thumb is that for every ten per cent increase in efficiency of rocket fuel rocket's cargo can be doubled. In addition, the molecule only has nitrogen and oxygen, which would make the rocket fuel more environmentally friendly. Today's solid rocket propellant generates the equivalent of 550 tonnes of concentrate hydrochloric acid with each space shuttle launch.
Only eight nitrogen/ovygen compounds were previously known, and most of them were discovered back in the 18th century. This is also clearly the largest of the nitrogen oxides. Its molecular formula is N(NO2)3, and the molecule is similar to a propeller in shape.
Martin Rahm, Sergey V. Dvinskikh, István Furó, Tore Brinck. Experimental Detection of Trinitramide, N(NO2)3. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2011; (forthcoming)
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