Thank you for doing this important service. As you write up your work note that rocket clubs on and off campus have increased dramatically in recent years. And indeed a number of teams are using liquid oxygen as the oxidizer. I have been promoting safety to the UCLA rocketry club as they are using kerosene and liquid oxygen as the fuel system with a near term goal to reach 50,000.
Many student rocket clubs are sponsored by SpaceX and similar companies with quite substantial financial contributions (>$1M to UCLA's club). There are national associations and competitions:
and the NASA Student Rocket Competition recently moved to Utah:
So you might consider a second focused report directed towards rocket clubs using liquid oxygen.
Craig A. Merlic
Professor of Chemistry, UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Executive Director,m UC Center for Laboratory Safety
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1569
On Dec 14th, we will be conducting a third day of liquid oxygen spill testing at Utah Valley University. As reported earlier, liquid O2 testing has been conducted using methods developed by NASA in the early 1970's for the rocket program to determine material compatibility with LOx. The results of the testing resulted in safety rules for any liquid oxygen spill which the group felt might not be appropriate. An extensive literature review has been conducted to find any studies on this topic. Numerous oxygen explosions have been reported causing significant damage and injury, yet none appear to be directly related to a LOx spill. Why is that?
Our initial testing was conducted on July 27, 2021 and it resulted in findings that were contradictory to the existing protocols. As a result, a second test day was scheduled for Oct 21, 2021 to valid our methods and systems against those in the literature.
As this testing will have significant safety implications for a future HazMat response to a liquid oxygen spill, we have been careful not to release any information prematurely from either test dates. No information will be released before a detailed review of the additional testing on Dec 14th that will support or refute our early conclusions. We want to also ensure that our study and findings will withstand peer review since some are contradictory to existing protocols.
Many in the Safety and HazMat communities have been anxious to hear the results, please bear with me as we go through tedious process of reviewing and summarizing our test results and conclusions to ensure we are accurate and drawing the right conclusions
Chemically Speaking LLC
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