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"Unusual" Hybrid fuels?

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LW Bercini

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The reason this question is posted in the Watering Hole rather than in the Propulsion board is because it is intended to be a lighthearted discussion about the pros and cons of "unusual" hybrid fuels.

This comes about because of a discussion on Facebook about candy corn. Somebody commented about a better use for candy corn could be rocket fuel. That led to somebody else commenting on the usage of smoked sausage as hybrid fuel.

Really? Smoked sausage?

Has anybody seen or toyed with such "unusual" fuels?
 

H_Rocket

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The first unusual fuel I ever heard of was at one of the early NERRF launches. Kevin O'Classen figured if the METRA "Moondust" burned like it did, it might make a great hybrid fuel. The next year he came back with a burning dirt special. I think he used Paraffin & Stearic acid along with the dirt. Seemed to perform reasonably well.

Oh yes - the "dirt" is actually sort of a finely dried and powdered peat moss like substance and chock full of fertilizer.
 

KennB

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The late Bill Spadafora fashioned a pepperoni into the fuel grain for one of his hybrid motors. Offhand, I don't recall what the results were but hope Bob or someone else will know.
 

mccordmw

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I think Mythbusters did an episode on unusual fuels like sausage. They also did one on gummy bears.

[video=youtube;fXf9-2JM7lM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXf9-2JM7lM[/video]
 

H_Rocket

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In the end, they proved that Gummy Bears in any recognizable form would not work. In the end the essentially made a candy motor and instead of AN for the oxidizer they used a hybrid.
 

Rex R

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once read an op-ed piece in Analog magazine about using butter as a rocket fuel, though for a hybrid a nice hard cheese might work better :). years later there was a ware house fire that burned for quite some time, the fire was fueled by surplus butter & cheese.
Rex
 

jbuscaglia

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The late Bill Spadafora fashioned a pepperoni into the fuel grain for one of his hybrid motors. Offhand, I don't recall what the results were but hope Bob or someone else will know.
I was not there for the firing, but from what Bill described, it never really produced any thrust. It got hot enough to melt the chunks of fat, though, and the grease oozed out of the nozzle.
 

DRAGON64

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I have used paraffin wax mixed with hot glue sticks. The HALO group used cast roofing tar... heck, if you run out of fuel, a hybrid will consume the motor case until the oxidizer runs out.
 

LW Bercini

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I have used paraffin wax mixed with hot glue sticks. The HALO group used cast roofing tar
Would you say those are "unusual" choices? Not being hybrid savant, I would say they seem to be rather traditional forms of hydrocarbon.
 

Danh

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I think Mythbusters did an episode on unusual fuels like sausage. They also did one on gummy bears.

[video=youtube;fXf9-2JM7lM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXf9-2JM7lM[/video]
Any one know how they obtained such a black smoke from a sugar motor?
 

ttabbal

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I don't think I'd call that a sugar motor... It sounds more like an APCP motor with powdered gummy bears mixed in. Depending on what else you mix in there, you could make it look like all sorts of things. Considering that the HTPB and AP are all it takes to make a solid motor, adding the gummy bear powder would just make it run rich. Thus the black smoke.

You could probably melt them, mix in an oxidizer, and cast the mess into a tube to get a more traditional sugar motor, with added flavoring. Or skip the oxidizer and use the cast gummy bears as a hybrid fuel grain. Sounds messy and I wouldn't want to clean the case, but I imagine it should work. Unless the heat causes it to flow too much and clog the nozzle or start burning through the case in a hybrid.

I don't recommend eating the gummy bear fuel grain after casting. Or inhaling the nitrous, but that's up to you I guess... :)
 

Danh

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Oh yeah... I guess I was just assuming that it would be a sugar motor since it was made from candy...
 

CoyoteNumber2

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I've heard of epoxy and motor oil with oxygen bubbles percolated through it. I guess that's not really a hybrid anymore.
 

dhbarr

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Cucumber liner, beef stick core, gaseous oxy. It was for a thermal lance from PopSci, but sub in NOS and a nozzle and it should "work".
 

adrian

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A few years ago at our big annual rocketry meeting, someone was experimenting with all sorts of fuel in a microhybrid. The binding agent was epoxy and the fuel was pretty well anything he could think of. The most unusual was probably the curry powder.

The person in question used to be active on this forum and may still be, in which case he'll hopefully see this and provide more details...
 

Nessalco

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The first unusual fuel I ever heard of was at one of the early NERRF launches. Kevin O'Classen figured if the METRA "Moondust" burned like it did, it might make a great hybrid fuel. The next year he came back with a burning dirt special. I think he used Paraffin & Stearic acid along with the dirt. Seemed to perform reasonably well.

Oh yes - the "dirt" is actually sort of a finely dried and powdered peat moss like substance and chock full of fertilizer.
That was fun!

Later I also made a grain that Al suggested to me, made of shredded US currency, paraffin, stearic acid, and a couple of 'enhancers'. Flew OK...
 

DRAGON64

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Would you say those are "unusual" choices? Not being hybrid savant, I would say they seem to be rather traditional forms of hydrocarbon.
Sure, how many people have burned glue sticks and tar in a hybrid...? they are surely not commercially produced "hybrid" fuels. Granted, it is not a Stucky's cheese log, of a New York Corndog, yet still proving, that if it will burn, it will work in a hybrid system.
 
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