Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Purple Menace

Saturday we went out to FAR and ran a test to determine Peroxide decomposition L* for a liquid catalyst. We were unable to get Sodium Permanganate for this test so we ran it with Potassium Permanganate. This results in about 1/4 the amount of effective catalyst. The end result is that we did not get full decomposition. The peroxide was still cloudy at the end of the tube. We did however fully check out a new test stand and data collection. All the parts worked correctly. A lot of people have told us that Permanganate makes an insane purple mess. Part of this test was to determine if we could handle this "mess". Thanks to a suggestion on Arrocket we mixed up a saturated solution of Vitamin C powder and that cuts the purple menace, making cleanup a non event.In the test setup we had insufficient permanganate so 100% of it was reacted in the engine leaving the engine perfectly clean. The only purple goo was from filling the cat tank.

The Last time I was out at FAR it was really pleasant. Nice lite breeze, moderate temperatures in the liow 70's and generally jerust a pleasant environment. So I convinced my desert hating wife to come with me this time. This must have angered the mojave deity as the wind was blowing so hard it felt like you were being sandblasted. The wind was blowing so hard that 2.5 GAL distilled water jugs 2/3 full were blowing over. It actually complicated the peroxide handeling, as we were in a blowing catalyst blizzard. It also made the personal protective gear hard, as the wind would blow a full face shield off in an instant. Also when you get peroxide on you it stings/burns, the blowing sand/rocks/boulders also sting. We were forever walking up to each other and saying any white spots on my face? The answer was always no, so we had no peroxide issues, but the sand was really unpleasant. There was a discussion of what was worse the wind or the 125degree heat we've seen on the site. Most preferred the heat, then John, who lives near FAR, said why do you think you would not have both? That pretty much ended the what if discussions involving mojave weather.

I've posted a a quick youtube video of the test. As a side note this test went from a concept to a test including assembling a test stand, fabricating a test motor and custom thermocouple electronics in 7 or 8 days.

1 comment:

John Carmack said...

Did you try buying a five gallon jug of Liquox from the company I listed in the old Armadillo update when we used that? I don't recall having any issues getting it, and there is a lot to be said for an off-the-shelf chemical to dump in your catalyst tank.