STCU News and Announcements
New technology of solid rocket fuel processing in civil explosives102/342
27 Mar 2006
The implementation of intergovernmental agreements on the weapons of mass destruction elimination includes the utilization of intercontinental ballistic missiles allocated on the territory of Ukraine. The missile engines contain solid perchlorate propellant which is very useful high-energy material. In 2003 DTRA pilot project on SS-24 missiles solid fuel elimination was started but after six months of pilot plant phase of testing was cancelled because of disagreement between the US and Ukrainian officials. Currently some of those engines are being stored in Palvograd Chemical Plant waiting on politicians to decide the fate of the fuel. But since the solid rocket fuel is old and deteriorating the problem of its utilization is extremely important.
Understanding the problem’s urgency, STCU has recently financed and successfully completed the project #1683 “The Development of a Technology for Processing Perchlorate Rocket Propellants in Civil Explosives”. A thorough study of the properties of solid perchlorate propellants together with the development of a technology for its transformation and production of emulsified explosives for mining have been undertaken during the project. A hydro-jet wash out technology for the solid propellant utilization has been developed. The technology is ecologically pure and operates in closed circle excluding water, soil or air contamination. Known approaches, e.g. incorporation of ground propellant into water-based and emulsified industrial explosives, have been implemented in addition to a newly developed technology of the conversion of ammonium perchlorate (the propellant component) into ethanolamine perchlorate, which is widely used as a basis for the civil explosives.
The project resulted in the creating opportunity of the solid perchlorate propellants usage as a source material for cheaper civil explosives.