1
$\begingroup$

While searching the internet for designs on liquid fueled rocket engines, I noticed that some bottles of liquid oxygen say they contain some percentage of hydrogen peroxide.

  • Could that be used as an oxidizer for a liquid fueled rocket?

  • What problems might it lead to if any?

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Can you expand/clarify your question...liquid oxygen isn't "fuel", ever, and what's "ok" depends on who is setting the rules. Also, discussion of home-built liquid rockets is off topic here, so please be clear about what you are asking. space.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1031/… $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble May 17 at 20:46
5
$\begingroup$

enter image description here

Sources here and here, see also Supply of liquid oxygen (LOX) maintained on the ISS? Kept cold using “space”, or refrigerator?


A quick check via google for "liquid oxygen with hydrogen peroxide" shows that there is a product containing a 34% hydrogen peroxide solution in water which is given the name "liquid oxygen", which is a misnomer.

  1. It is not actually liquid oxygen (LOX), despite the name.

    LOX is cryogenic, it needs to be stored in a dewar or vacuum flask (special kind of thermos bottle) to keep it from boiling quickly away.

  2. It is not "rocket fuel" as the question asks, it is a cleaning product for hydroponic systems.

    While high-test peroxide (circa 90%) will decompose on contact with a catalyst into hot steam and O2 and can therefore be used as a monopropellant, probably 34% peroxide would not be very effective as a rocket propellant. It would take about 200 kJ to boil 2/3 of a kg of water and the remaining 1/3 kg of peroxide decomposing only releases about 33 kJ.

hydrogen peroxide catalyzed decomposition energy

Peroxide can also be used as an oxidizer in a hybrid propellant configuration. In this case also, being 2/3 plain water, it will probably not work very well.

The recent paper High-performing hydrogen peroxide hybrid rocket with 3-D printed and extruded ABS fuel published in an alternative journal:

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful oxidizer whose chemical behavior is dominated by the weak nature of the peroxide bond. In pure form H2O2 is highly unstable, and very dangerous to work with. Due to its relative instability in pure form, peroxide is typically used in aqueous solutions. Typical mass concentrations include 3-10% for medical applications, and 30%-50% for industrial and agricultural applications. Hydrogen peroxide solutions with mass concentrations greater than 95%-often referred to as high test peroxide (HTP)- have been used extensively for propulsion applications


34% peroxide is a dangerous oxidizer and should not be used casually or recreatinoally.

A randomly selected advertisement mentions:

  • Use with caution. Keep away from children.
  • It is considered unlawful to sell, use or distribute this product in ways other than as claimed.
$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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