Hydrogen-peroxide (H2O2) is a relatively stable oxidant, but when it comes into contact with a catalyst it decomposes into a mixture of superheated steam. It is this exothermic reaction which propels jetpacks into flight, such as the one recently used by ambitious stuntman Eric Scott.
Scott went into the record books this week as he flew over the 350m-deep Royal Gorge canyons, near Cañon City in Colorado, US, also the location of the world’s highest suspension bridge.
The stunt took just 21 seconds to complete as he propelled himself, dressed in a red jumpsuit, across the canyon with the jetpack strapped to his back. Insufficient technology actually limits the operating time of these hydrogen-peroxide jetpacks, to about 30 seconds.
Governments have tested and used hydrogen-peroxide for use in rockets, for both space exploration and warfare. HTP, or High Test Peroxide, is a concentrated solution of hydrogen peroxide; the rest being made up of water.
Britain in the 60s & 70s was only third behind the US and the USSR in rocket-propelled technology. In 1971 Britain successfully placed a satellite in orbit, with help from Black Arrow - a hydrogen-peroxide fuelled rocket.
Hydrogen in everyday life
Today we are increasingly told to think ‘green’. Hydrogen is becoming increasingly significant in the race for a cleaner fuel, especially in the current economic and environmental climate.
The Supplemental Hydrogen Fuel System (SHFS) is a device that can be fitted to cars running on conventional fuel, such as petrol and diesel. The SHFS device has the ability to improve the fuel mileage on cars.
The system works by producing a hydrogen rich oxygen gas, this gas is then pulled into the intake and then to the engines cylinders.
HHO, the hydrogen rich oxygen gas that feeds the engine, combusts quicker than gasoline, this in turn gives your car improved performance. HHO once burned produces water vapour, so your cars exhaust will be much friendlier to the environment.
gasworld takes an in-depth look at hydrogen in its January Focus Feature article titled,
A world beyond petroleum: Hydrogen and its green future.