Recover Inorganic Solids from Obsolete Propellants

by Frank J. Y. Shiu,
Iris C. Y. Yang,
T. F. Yen,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


A feasible process was developed to recover inorganic solids (energetics and metallic fuel) from obsolete polyurethane-based propellants in order to solve their associated long-term disposal problems. In the staged process, two major tasks have been accomplished. One has been successful separation of the three major components, energetics, polymer binders, and metallic fuel by cleaving the polyurethane binders of the 3-dimensional network; the other has been complete degradation of the high molecular weight polymers into low molecular weight oligomers or harmless minerals. The preliminary results indicate that the techniques of solvent comminution, ultrasonic degradation and biodegradation are, to various degrees, effective in handling polyurethane-based propellants.

Subject Headings: Solid mechanics | Fuels | Binders (material) | Water pollution | Minerals | Solvents | Ultrasonic methods | Biological processes

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