Space Propulsion Systems

High-performance catalysts for challenging conditions

With the strong recent increase in commercial space products and services, the demand for catalyst technologies that are used in the propulsion systems of rockets and satellites is rising. In so called thrusters, the exothermic decomposition and expansion of decomposed products provides the required thrust for orbit control and other high precision maneuvers.

Over the years, Heraeus has established itself as the independent market leader for iridium-based (Ir) catalyst systems that are utilized in the decomposition of hydrazine. We have long-term experience in the development of iridium-based, ruthenium-based or bi-metallic systems for monopropellant thrusters since the beginning of the 1990’s. Over the past 40 years, our ‘work horse’ the industry leading H-KC12GA catalyst has established itself as the proven industry standard in hydrazine thrusters. The catalyst is economically produced and are therefore readily available, subject to customer specific requirements.

Furthermore, Heraeus has been actively exploring and testing non-toxic, or green propellants, as a possible replacement for hydrazine based propellant offering significant economic benefits. Our patented platinum-based (Pt) catalysts find application in the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), especially of High-test peroxide (HTP).

We have significant experience in dealing with the strict demands of the aerospace industry and consistently deliver high-quality precious metal-based solutions to our customers. Customarily, our catalysts are adapted to specific customer operating requirements and can consequently be supplied in different mesh sizes.

As the leading global supplier of space propulsion catalysts, Heraeus has a vital interest in playing an active role in the development and industrialization of components and propulsion systems using non-toxic propellants.

Catalysts for Space Propulsion Systems - Examples

Recommended Publications

Published Title Authors
2020  Influence of hot-firing Tests on the Characetristics and Activity of a Catalyst for the Hydrogen Peroxyde Decomposition S. Casu, B. Geiger, R. Kiemel, J-Y. Lestrade and J. Anthoine
2019  Development and Characterization of a Catalyst for the Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide
Santiago Casu, Bastian Geiger, Rainer Kiemel, Jean-Yves Lestrade and Jérome
2017  Performances of a Multi-Pulsed Hybrid Rocket Engine Operating with Highly Concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide Jérôme Anthoine, Jean-Yves Lestrade, Jérôme Messineo and Santiago Casu
2015  Development and Test of a 3D printed Hydrogen Peroxide Flight Control Thruster Ulrich Gotzig, Stefan Krauss, Dietmar Welberg, Daniel Fiot, Pierre Michaud, Christian Desaguier, Santiago Casu, Bastian Geiger and Rainer Kiemel
2014  Life Test Results of a MONARC 5 1 lbf Monopropellant Thruster with Heraeus Catalyst Corinne Gatto and Barry Nakazono

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