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How to reduce icing in Noble gasses used as ullage gas

March 19, 2016

How to reduce icing in Noble gasses used as ullage gas

       Last year in a blog entry I suggested using the Xenon ullage gas repurposed as Ion propellant in The O2 oxidizer tank to slow icing problems(as compared to the LH2 tank), perhaps we can do better?Could we use Neon as a ullage gas in the LO2 oxidizer tank?Or in the alternative the use of an Argon/Neon gas mix in the cryogenic O2 tank?

       A in space liquefaction/fractionation system would separate the gases O2 from the Argon and Neon for the IVF system and the ion engine system.Argon/Neon as well as Xenon could provide ullage to Vulcan and SpaceX Methane/LNG launch vehicle upper stages since Methane cryogenic temps lend themselves better to the idea presented here


  A mix of Argon/Neon will have depending on the ratio differing boiling points at 1 ATM so this tells us this sort of Ion/chemical hybrid upper stage works well with Methane but not Hydrogen as propellant. So perhaps trade studies need to be made with Methane/O2 and Argon/Neon and Hydrogen/Methane slushes/gels that have different  boil temperatures.

EDIT A Chinese Helium ullage mixed with Hydrogen and Oxygen vapor

Numerical investigation of thermal distribution and pressurization behavior in helium pressurized cryogenic tank by introducing a multi-component model


Modeling of Ullage Collapse Within Rocket Propellant Tanks at Reduced Gravity

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