VAFB Oxidizer Destruction Project
Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) currently uses hypergolic fuels for the launch of space delivery vehicles. The hypergolic fuels used at VAFB are hydrazine fuels and N2O4. Both hydrazine fuels and N2O4 are extremely toxic. Currently, VAFB uses liquid scrubbing systems to remove these toxic components prior to venting any gasses to the atmosphere. The liquid scrubbers work with acceptable efficiency, but create toxic waste streams that must be dealt with.
The CHA Corporation constructed and installed two microwave scrubbers at VAFB that cleanly and effectively destroy the waste hypergolic rocket fuel vapors in the nitrogen stream. The process uses a novel combination of activated carbon and microwave energy to completely destroy the N2O4 and hydrazine fuel in the vapor streams. At the end of processing only harmless inert materials remain with no hazardous waste production. This process will allow for much cheaper processing of the hypergolic fuel streams, and result in much less atmospheric venting of the hypergolic rocket fuels.
Currently, the CHA Corporation has completed the start-up tests for both scrubbers. We are providing technical support to VAFB for a 1 year technology verification process.