Innovative Predictive Tools for Successful Processing of Propylene Glycol Dinitrate for Production of Otto Fuel II
Navy SBIR 2010.1 - Topic N101-064
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam -
Opens: December 10, 2009 - Closes: January 13, 2010

N101-064 TITLE: Innovative Predictive Tools for Successful Processing of Propylene Glycol Dinitrate for Production of Otto Fuel II

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes


RESTRICTION ON PERFORMANCE BY FOREIGN CITIZENS (i.e., those holding non-U.S. Passports): This topic is "ITAR Restricted." The information and materials provided pursuant to or resulting from this topic are restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120 - 130, which control the export of defense-related material and services, including the export of sensitive technical data. Foreign Citizens may perform work under an award resulting from this topic only if they hold the "Permanent Resident Card", or are designated as "Protected Individuals" as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3). If a proposal for this topic contains participation by a foreign citizen who is not in one of the above two categories, the proposal will be rejected.

OBJECTIVE: To develop innovative predictive tools that would allow production plant personnel to quickly evaluate materials in the production plant for Otto Fuel II. This process will provide will provide a safer method for personnel conducting the proposed methods and afford a reliable, scientific based output for evaluation by personnel that will indicate whether the starting materials will process effectively. This method will eliminate wasted resources involved with the evaluation of starting raw materials in the production of Otto Fuel II.

DESCRIPTION: Propylene glycol dinitrate (PGDN) is used in the manufacture of Otto Fuel II. The PGDN manufacturing process involves the continuous nitration of propylene glycol using a mixed acid. If either starting material is contaminated with small quantities of impurities, it leads to major safety and quality issues with the product PGDN and subsequent Otto Fuel II production. The quality control of the starting materials (propylene glycol and mixed acid) is currently evaluated by non-ideal methods. A new innovative approach is required that will insure quality product and robust processing in the manufacturing plant.

PHASE I: Phase I will include the development and small-scale demonstration of the proposed predictive tool for evaluation of the propylene glycol and mixed acid starting materials. This method will be compared with the existing methods. Proof of concept will be completed upon successful demonstration of the science behind the developed tools.

PHASE II: Phase II will include further development and refinement of the predictive tool(s). This will include the development and delivery of a prototype system that will be used by the production plant to nitrate various lots of propylene glycol using various lots of mixed acid. This prototype turn-key system will include technical guidance in the form of a technical report with detailed operating instructions for any proposed equipment. The technical report will also include a detailed description of the proposed science behind the researched approach.

PHASE III: Phase III will provide a production system for transition to the Otto Fuel II (nitration) manufacturing plant. All changes requested as a result of the Phase II development will be included. A comprehensible operations manual will be provided that describes the equipment.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Various processes in industry take advantage of similar continuous nitration processing like the manufacture of PGDN. These processes also rely on predictive tools to determined if starting materials will process well in the respective manufacturing process. The predictive tools developed could easily be adapted to industrial processes. The process can be used for pharmaceutical grade nitroglycerin manufacturing industry as well as the manufacture of various nitrate esters that are currently used in the propulsion and explosive components of a number of DOD weapon systems.

1. Fraser, R. T. M. Stability of nitrate esters. Chemistry & Industry (London, United Kingdom) (1968), (33), 1117-18. CODEN: CHINAG ISSN:0009-3068. CAN 69:78867 AN 1968:478867

2. Storm, C. G. Potassium-Iodide-Starch Paper. Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry (Washington, D. C.) (1910), 1 802. CODEN: JIECAD ISSN:0095-9014

KEYWORDS: nitration; propylene; glycol; Otto Fuel II; trial; nitrate ester

DoD Notice:  
Between November 12 and December 9, 2009, you may talk directly with the Topic Authors to ask technical questions about the topics. Their contact information is listed above. For reasons of competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is
not allowed starting December 10, 2009, when DoD begins accepting proposals for this solicitation.
However, proposers may still submit written questions about solicitation topics through the DoD's SBIR/STTR Interactive Topic Information System (SITIS), in which the questioner and respondent remain anonymous and all questions and answers are posted electronically for general viewing until the solicitation closes. All proposers are advised to monitor SITIS (10.1 Q&A) during the solicitation period for questions and answers, and other significant information, relevant to the SBIR 10.1 topic under which they are proposing.

If you have general questions about DoD SBIR program, please contact the DoD SBIR Help Desk at (866) 724-7457 or email weblink.