The Role of Chemistry in History

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Uses 2

April 18th, 2008 · No Comments ·


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Hydrogen Peroxide and HistoryHydrogen Peroxide and the Future


Rocket Fuel

The Messerschmitt 163 rocket aircraft (“Komet”) wasn’t a conventional jet aircraft, it was the only rocket aircraft to ever fly in operational service in WW2. It was fitted with a rocket motor that made it faster than any other fighter in the air, but the fuel made it very unsafe. The fuels were “T Stoff” (80% H2O2, 20% water) and “C Stoff”. It is said that any organic matter (including humans) could spontaneously combust in contact with the T Stoff. The fuel was loaded separately, with the aircraft and crew washed down carefully after the first fuelling, and again after the second one. A catalyst (Ca(MnO4)2 + K2CrO4) was mixed with some peroxide, generating a mixture of steam and oxygen that drove the pumps feeding the two fuels to the combustion chamber. The explosive reaction produced a mixture of hot gases, steam and nitrogen:

2 H2O2 (l) + N2H4 (l) –> 4 H2O (g) + N2 (g)

Unfortunately, if a Me163 crash landed and somehow did not explode (they usually did), fuel lines could fracture, and the pilot would be dissolved alive by the T Stoff.

Tags: Hydrogen Peroxide