High Concentration Hydrogen Peroxide Safety Validation Testing

High concentration hydrogen peroxide (HTP) has applications in the space and rocket industries. Due to the specific use, a very high purity of the product is required. Jakusz SpaceTech Sp. z o.o. has a production line which enables production of hydrogen peroxide in 98%+ concentration with high purity, conforming to requirements of restrictive standard MIL-PRF-16005F. Currently, hydrogen peroxide is available on the European market in a concentration of 87% at the most, with purity that does not meet the requirements of the standard. As part of a project carried out for the European Comics Agency entitled: “High Concentration Hydrogen Peroxide Safety Validation Testing”, Jakusz SpaceTech Sp. z o.o. will take steps to enable the introduction of the produced HTP grade hydrogen peroxide for sale and safe transport within Europe. The project involves an analysis of transport law, on the basis of which the product will be classified and transport packaging certified.  The next step will be to develop analytical methods to characterize the chemical composition of the produced HTP.

Hydrogen peroxide is a relatively stable substance but only under the condition of high purity and stabilization with appropriate compounds. Small amounts of impurities can induce HTP decomposition to water and oxygen. Therefore, special purity and care must be taken during the production process. In order to avoid excessive decomposition, and consequently a decrease in hydrogen peroxide concentration, both during transport and storage, suitable stabilizers are added to the solution. Although, the addition of stabilizers is necessary to maintain the desired stability of hydrogen peroxide, their amount cannot be exceeded for two reasons. Firstly, above a certain optimum, a decrease in HTP stability can be observed and secondly, and this is important in the case of rocket engines, any additional substances can deposit on the catalyst causing deactivation. Taking into account these premises, the project will attempt to develop an optimum composition of stabilizer mixture ensuring high stability of hydrogen peroxide.

The next step will be to perform a series of analytical tests to determine the chemical composition of the product and to verify compliance with standard MIL-PRF-16005F. The standard specifies the required contents of the various components: anions (chlorides, phosphates, sulfates, nitrates), metals, ammonium ion, total organic carbon (TOC), and dry residue content after solution evaporation. Since highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide is highly oxidizing and corrosive, direct analysis is not possible in some cases. The results obtained could be disturbed and the measuring equipment could be damaged. For this reason, it will be necessary to develop sample preparation procedures for analysis and test procedures applicable to highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide solutions. In addition, for each type of analysis, verification of the repeatability of the method will be performed by performing five-fold measurements. To accomplish the objective of analyzing anions in hydrogen peroxide solutions, the research will be based on the ion chromatography technique. It will be challenging to subject samples to this analysis as they absolutely cannot contain hydrogen peroxide. Analytical studies of metal content will be compared on the basis of two different sample preparation methods as well as two analytical techniques – inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).

In addition to the aforementioned analytical studies, the scope of the project will include the development of procedures for the measurement of physicochemical properties such as concentration, pH, total dissolved solids (TDS), and conductivity. Furthermore, the concentration will be compared using two methods (calculation based on measured density and the classical titration method of hydrogen peroxide determination using potassium permanganate).

In the next stage of the project, Hydrogen Peroxide 98% + will be classified under the European Agreement on the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR). During tests examining explosive properties (Class 1 according to ADR), it will be verified whether HTP shows sensitivity to shock wave and the effect of heating and ignition tests under a tight closure. In addition, the oxidation and corrosive properties of HTP will be verified, as well as its decomposition temperature.

The final stage of the project is the certification of packaging for the transport of 98%+ hydrogen peroxide. For this purpose, a material compatibility assessment of 5L and 30L canisters made of HDPE will be performed. A series of canisters will be seasoned in contact with HTP for 6 months.  The effect of contact with HDPE on hydrogen peroxide, will be investigated by re-analyzing the chemical composition of the solution. At the same time, the certification body will conduct a series of tests to verify the canisters’ resistance to mechanical stimuli occurring during transport.

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