2
$\begingroup$

Presumably liquid rocket combustion is never 100% efficient, so what proportion of fuel does typically remain unburnt, venting into the atmosphere, and does this vary for different rocket designs and fuel types - hydrogen, methane etc?

$\endgroup$
4
  • $\begingroup$ Accounting for what is leftover in the tanks or only the one which remain unburnt after passing through the engine ? $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Sep 29, 2016 at 14:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This varies for each engine design. An important factor is the mixture ratio, there's usually a slight excess of fuel over oxidizer. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Sep 29, 2016 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ Yes Antzi, I was really thinking about how much ends up in the atmosphere, but perhaps sources do in the end? For hydrogen it's not a problem, but methane is an extremely strong greenhouse gas. $\endgroup$ Sep 29, 2016 at 17:13
  • $\begingroup$ I think the incident of russian rocket falling up over canadian island/waters rich waters. The hydrazine in tank burnt up but it wasn't regular rocket. $\endgroup$
    – Isrorian
    Sep 30, 2016 at 16:58

1 Answer 1

1
$\begingroup$

I managed to track down one reference online, in the SSME (Shuttle) engine, which uses liquid hydrogen/oxygen, "two-stage combustion approximately 99.6% efficient"

http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2011/ph240/nguyen1/docs/SSME_PRESENTATION.pdf

Also see, Modern Engineering for Design of Liquid-Propellant Rocket Engines by Dieter K. Huzel

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.