Monday, May 13, 2024

Paraffin as rocket fuel?

Via Bloomberg, this news: 

Companies are trying all kinds of things to find their way in the increasingly competitive space industry.

A German startup is adding candle wax to that list.

HyImpulse Technologies last week launched a sounding rocket powered by a combination of liquid oxygen and solid paraffin – a petroleum byproduct that’s a key ingredient in candles.

Mario Kobald, who co-founded the company in 2018, is taking this approach because he saw too many young companies trying to develop rockets similar to Elon Musk’s industry giant SpaceX, which uses liquid oxygen and kerosene to fuel its workhorse Falcon 9 rockets.

“You cannot compete with the costs of a system that’s already on the market for many years when you have established players like SpaceX,” says Kobald, who started HyImpulse with several former classmates from the University of Stuttgart, where he received a PhD in aerospace engineering.

Gotta say, the relative price and safety of paraffin is probably quite attractive... 

1 comment:

  1. It seems like it would harder to control the feed rate of the fuel (and thus exhaust and thrust) if it's a solid. OTOH, I don't know how solid-fuel rockets work and if this would be just another iteration of those. The name implies that you could get more thrust, but at least from what I read of Ignition I don't know if that makes sense. - Hap


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