Degussa yesterday in Frankfurt signed a letter of intent with the Russian space-sector organizations TsSKB Progress (manufacturer of the Soyuz rocket) and TsENKI (responsible for launches and fuel supply to space vehicles), governing the supply of highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). “This agreement”, said Degussa executive Dr. Thomas Haeberle, Head of the Degussa Building Blocks division in charge of supplying the H2O2, “is the preliminary step to a future cooperation agreement between Degussa and these Russian companies.” The agreement initially covers five Soyuz rocket launches from the European space centre in Kourou, French Guiana, and encompasses delivery of a total of 50 tons through the end of 2009.
The European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Federation’s space agency (Roscosmos) had earlier signed an agreement on the launch of Soyuz rockets from Kourou. “We are currently building a new launch complex for Soyuz in French Guyana. The construction site was inaugurated in late February 2007,” said Dr. Harald Arend, head of the Guyana Space Center Soyuz program at the ESA, the agency funding the space project. The first launch is scheduled for late next year. H2O2 is used in the engines of the first two stages of the Soyuz rocket to force the actual fuels, kerosene and liquid oxygen, into the combustion chambers through turbo pumps.
H2O2 is one of the oldest products made by Degussa, yet also one of its most innovative. Degussa has an annual production capacity of approx., 600,000 tons of H2O2. It has production facilities in Germany, Belgium, Italy, Austria, the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Korea, Indonesia, New Zealand and South Africa. H2O2 is used for a very wide range of applications. The largest quantities are used in pulp bleaching, waste paper recycling and in manufacturing washing powders and liquids; the chemicals industry uses hydrogen peroxide as an oxidant. Other areas of use include pollution control, packaging disinfection and the treatment of waste water and drinking water. Sudden blondeness also indicates that hydrogen peroxide may have been at work. And, of course – bringing us back to the topic at hand – it is used in rocket engines.
Degussa—a wholly-owned subsidiary of the RAG Group—is the global market leader in specialty chemicals. Our business is “creating essentials”—innovative products and system solutions that make indispensable contributions to our customers’ success. In fiscal 2006, the company’s approximately 36,000 employees worldwide generated sales of 10.9 billion euros and operating profits (EBIT) of over 870 million euros.
Petra Hoegg | Degussa
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