A long time ago a normal mortal could buy rocket grade peroxide. Then someone crashed their rocket pack and sued the peroxide supplier.They won and the supplier lost more on that suit than they had erver made on the small rocket grade perxode sales. So they did the smart thing and stopped selling rocket grade peroxide to anyone that did not have a government contract.
Three or four months ago I was very worried about peroxide availibility as peroxide propulsion was not running and xlspace systems had stopped producing. So I set about to refine my own. Stabilized 50% hydrogen peroxide is a widely used industrial chemical, and seemed to be generally availible. I consulted with an expert that had been in the usiness of refining rocket grade perixude and decided to follow his reccomended process.
I got a sample 55 gal drum of 50% food grade from the local chemical supplier and built the plant to do the process. If you can get 70% semiconductor grade you cut out two steps from the process. There are only two chemical suppliers doing bulk proixde distribution in the U.S. One got burned as described above and will not sell to anyone that is doing “rocketry”. the other suppleir does not produce rocket grade peroxide, they do produce 70% semi. so we started the process of having them review our facility and procedures so they would sell us 70%, rather than the commonly availible 50%. After a number of weeks and many exchanges we got the following response:
First thank you for your time and patience as XXXXX reviewed your request to purchase hydrogen peroxide. As outlined in your information, your process would concentrate the material to 85-90% for use in rocketry. You forecast an ongoing use of ~ 10K lbs per year of 70% product.
Our review involved the technical aspects of your work, product stewardship, regulatory affairs, and a legal & liability review.Everyone was impressed with your facility and apparent knowledge of hydrogen peroxide handling.
We have made the decision not to supply Unreasonable Rocket directly or through distribution. Our decision was really made based on our perceived risk of exposure for a very small volume of business. We will also communicate this to XXXXXX(the distributor we were buying 50% food grade from.)
We wish you well in your future endeavors and look forward to reading about your successes.
So if I had hidden what I do, or been dishonest about where the peroxide was going I could have continued to buy the 50% food grade. Now niether peroxide supplier will knowling sell even the 50% food grade if it is going to Unreasonable Rocket. I know of others using peroxide for rockets that have set up shell companies “bozos chemical safety systems” or the like, buy peroxide under an assumed use and then refine for their rocket belts, drag cars or whatever. Others have “friend companies” buy it for them etc.. My personal business ethics don’t feel comfortable with that. As a result of being honest and upfront about what I’m doing the door is closed.
No discussion of what insurance do you carry, what sort of liability release will you sign etc… Just no. People should be allowed to take risks. My familiy knows that if something happend to me it was my choice. They also know how strongly I feel that lawsuit lottery is destroying the fabric of what made the USA great. Americans were once risk takers.
What we are doing is far enough outside the normal industrial processes that any one doing business with us is not following their carefully coregraphed ISO9000 script. As a result the system is not perfect. That is why when I get a valve that supposed to have compatible materials in it I TEST IT. If I asked for viton and they sent buna-n then they screwed up, in the normal events that sort of screw up would cause a leak. With 90% peroxide it could cause an explosion. This is my responsiility, a larger organization would have a detailed incomming inspection for anything that critical, I don’t so its my responsibility. Its why we test things at FAR were we have a bunker to hide in. Its whey we presurize and fly the vehicle remotely, its why we make people at FAR seek shelter in the viewing bunker when we are trying something untested. What we do is risky, but we try not to take stupid risks. When I started going to FAR I looked around and saw a bunch of 40+ year old guys that normally drive a desk out in the hot desert sun doing hard physical lablor. One of my very first donations to the place was an AED automatic defibulator and a breathing oxygen bottle. At the time it was the largest check I had yet written for my new rocketry hobby.
If I screw up amd blow my self up, it was my choice to take the risk, its not the fault of whatever other things happened in the chain of cauasality, I knowlingly put myself in that position.
Damm the lawyers.
BTW we flew the blue ball tethered in high winds today and got mixed results, no damage, but control problems in the winds. more later.