Development and Optimization of a Catalytic Thruster for Hydrogen Peroxide Decomposition

Fernanda Francisca Maia, Leonardo Henrique Gouvea, Luis Gustavo Ferroni Pereira, Ricardo Vieira, Fernando de Souza Costa


Hydrogen peroxide is a non toxic, low cost, green monopropellant with a significant potential for applications in satellite microthrusters. It presents a density-specific impulse, similar to hydrazine. A new bulk mixed oxide catalyst for decomposition of hydrogen peroxide has been developed and tested in a 2 N thruster with modular parts, allowing the use of catalytic beds with different diameters and lengths. A method of experiment design with a star configuration was implemented to optimize the catalytic bed geometry, in order to yield complete peroxide decomposition, reduce thruster size and volume and provide maximum thrust.


Satellite propulsion; Hydrogen peroxide; Mixed oxide catalyst; Catalytic bed optimization.

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