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The Bloodhound Land Speed Record (LSR) team has confirmed plans to equip its car with a zero-emissions rocket. Powered by concentrated hydrogen peroxide, the rocket will be used alongside a jet fighter engine to allow the car to reach speeds beyond 1,280km/h (800mph).
Provided by Norwegian rocket specialist Nammo, the rocket is a ‘monopropellant’ design that uses concentrated hydrogen peroxide as the oxidizer. This is pumped at high pressure through silver gauze, which acts as a catalyst, causing it to decompose into super-heated steam (600°C) and oxygen.
The steam and oxygen are channeled through a nozzle to generate thrust. There is no fuel combustion and therefore no flame nor any chemically harmful waste generated by the rocket from each run.
Work is also underway to optimize the auxiliary power unit needed to pump the rocket’s oxidizer. Rather than the originally specified 550bhp V8 ICE, this will be an electric motor and battery pack of comparable power.
The Bloodhound team is also exploring the possibility of running the Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine on biofuel instead of Jet A fuel, further reducing the environmental impact of the car.
Following Bloodhound’s successful high-speed testing program in the Kalahari Desert, the vehicle has now returned to the UK Land Speed Record Centre in Gloucestershire, UK, to be prepared for the next phase of the project.