Fuel for the “Proton” proposed to ban worldwide
A ban on the production and use of hydrazine, a toxic fuel for rockets (including the Russian “Proton”) and satellites, which might be introduced in the EU in 2021, would be a disaster for the space industry, Space News reports.
“This is a nightmare not only for Airbus but also for Europe’s entire space industry, — said the head of engine development, Airbus Defense and Space Priya Fernando. — I think if it was banned in Europe, it makes sense to ban worldwide. It makes no sense to ban only in Europe.”
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the exhibition and conference, Space Tech Expo Europe, Fernando said that even if the European space company falls under the exception, the cost of the hydrazine will still be doubled, and the industry will annually lose up to two billion dollars.
The substitution of hydroxylamine nitrate or ammonium dinitramide not solve the problem because the space industry for financial and technological reasons, are not prepared for the rapid and massive application of these compounds as rocket fuel.
According to Fernando, the creation of efficient, cheap and nontoxic rocket fuel will take up to 20 years.
In 2011, the European Commission allowed the inclusion of hydrazine in the REACH regulation (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals). The compound is used in particular as a component of fuel for engines of the Russian rocket “proton” and the European launcher Ariane 5.
Every year the space sector in the EU requires about 20 tons of hydrazine, mainly for satellites, and supranational education itself does not produce this substance, and imports it. In the world annually produces more than 120 thousand tons of hydrazine, a compound mainly used as foaming agent in the chemical industry.