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View Diary: ME 163 Komet. Last desperate hope or Planned point defence interceptor (56 comments)

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  •  Oh, peroxide isn't *that* bad... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, Otteray Scribe, eyesoars

    You just need to have plenty of water around to dilute spills, and to put out the occasional small fire when it drips on your clothes :-)

    Seriously, German T-Stoff was nasty because of high impurity levels.  Pure HTP (high-test peroxide), 98% or above, is absolutely non-explosive, and fairly well-behaved as long as you treat it properly -- mainly, don't let it get contaminated with organics, and don't let it get trapped in a tank or pipe section with no vent.  It's also not particularly toxic (it'll bleach skin, but it doesn't poison you, and it's not a carcinogen) and it's about as environmentally benign as it's possible for something to be.  The British used HTP successfully as an oxidizer in the Black Arrow launch vehicle , and so have several private groups.  

    Hydrazine, on the other hand, is both toxic and carcinogenic -- but it was the only option for a truly storable monopropellant, and the best storable fuel, for a long time, so we learned to handle it, whereas we mostly forgot how to handle HTP after the 50's

    •  Strong oxidizers are fairly hazardous (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc

      ... they can and do behave very unpredictably. (As you say, however, mostly when they become contaminated with organics.)

      E.g., wooden lab benches soaked with perchlorates (sometimes over long periods) have been known to blow up. Liquid oxygen can also do similar things in short periods -- things like leather, asphalt, &c, soaked in liquid oxygen for a bit, can become explosive and detonate when struck.

      If you look on youtube, you can find videos of barbecue grills rather spectacularly destroyed with a match, cold charcoal, and a bucket of liquid oxygen.

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