New molecule could propel rockets

Published in Chemistry World, 7 Jan 2011

The largest nitrogen oxide molecule discovered to date could function as a rocket propellant, according to chemists in Sweden who have synthesised it for the first time. Trinitramide, N(NO2)3, has a higher energy and density than other materials used to combust rocket fuel – but some researchers are doubtful it will ever be useable outside the lab.

‘The identification of trinitramide is clearly a great discovery and academically highly important,’ says Thomas Klapötke, an expert in energetic materials at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Germany, who was not involved in the research. ‘As far as a possible application as an oxidiser for rocket propulsion is concerned, I have slight doubts.’ […]

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