Simon Reid, a “simple” student at the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), may be about to create a small revolution in the aerospace sector. The latter has indeed developed through 3D printing a ceramic catalyst to transform hydrogen peroxide into rocket fuel! This “fuel” would be a much less toxic alternative to Propergol, but a way still had to be found to effectively catalyze hydrogen peroxide.
Simon Reid holding his catalyst in his hands
Building on the ongoing projects of the New Zealand company Dawn Aerospace, who is already working on a reusable space plane running on hydrogen peroxide, Simon Reid has designed a gyroid catalyst that cannot be manufactured other than by 3D printing given the complexity of its structure. In the end, the ceramic catalyst helps maximize thrust and reduce pressure drop, assets that could well appeal to many space agencies around the world, especially in a context of space competition. exacerbated between China, Russia, Europe and the United States.