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Brian Blank September 15th, 2007 07:55 PM

Solid or Metastable Metallic Hydrogen as fuel
I was reading an article on Jupiter and they were talking about Solid Hydrogen Ice and Metallic Hydrogen. I got to thinking, with the gravitics and materials technology of the Imperium why not use Solid Hydrogen or Metallic Hydrogen for Starships instead of LHyd. Fuel Tankage would be smaller and more room would be available for drives, cargo, weapons etc.

Here are a couple of links to what I'm talking about.

spank September 15th, 2007 08:12 PM

Solid/slush hydrogen
I posted an idea about this a while ago, here is a link to the thread.

atpollard September 15th, 2007 09:41 PM

Do not overlook the consequences that 1 hit to "fuel" and the ship vaporizes in a really big boom.

Brian Blank September 15th, 2007 10:02 PM


Originally Posted by atpollard (Post 236072)
Do not overlook the consequences that 1 hit to "fuel" and the ship vaporizes in a really big boom.


Originally Posted by spank (Post 236062)
I posted an idea about this a while ago, here is a link to the thread.

Thanks for the link, Spank. Nice to see I'm on the same wavelength with someone. :) I'd completly forgotten about Slush Tankage.

AT, not sure you wouldn't get the same thing with LHyd on a standard ship. One good hit to the tanks and ....BOOM !!

I'm thinking maybe Pellets or Slugs of fuel as well. We are already postulating that you can have fuel purifiers that can seperate and liquify hydrogen on 100ton ships at TL12-13. Who knows what is possible at higher Tech Levels

Zembar September 19th, 2007 09:39 AM

Doesn't said "boom" require oxygen?

If the hydrogen is used for fusion, there shouldn't be any need for oxygen. Also, why would anyone store oxygen and hydrogen in the same place? Sound like a very very bad idea.

-- Zembar

atpollard September 19th, 2007 01:56 PM


Originally Posted by Zembar (Post 236337)
Doesn't said "boom" require oxygen?

I am not an expert on metalic hydrogen, but I was under the impression that it is only 'sort of' stable and could easily be coaxed to expand back to a liquid or gaseous state. The sudden and violent increase in volume and pressure is the source of the 'boom'.

What happens when you suddenly have 100 dtons of fuel in a 1 dton tank?

Zembar September 19th, 2007 05:22 PM

Any container capable of maintaining the pressures and temperatures needed would probably take a few hits, but I see your point. Even if according to the wikipedia article, it's actually only about nine times more dense than "standard hydrogen", which is admittedly about as loosely defined as you can get. (since lhyd is very roughly 1/700 as dense as hydrogen at 0c/one atmosphere). 9dtons in a 1dton tank is just as bad.

On that note, wouldn't lhyd face the same problem?

To get back more on topic; when making a system using it, it would be neat to take into account the mentioned energy gained simply from converting the hydrogen to a liquid or gas. Perhaps making the PP process the fuel twice for energy.

-- Zembar

far-trader September 19th, 2007 05:55 PM

I figure whatever new whiz-bang golly-gee fangled tech you want to introduce to the rules, is actually how the rules already work ;)

So, you figure Lhyd can be stored more efficiently as a metastable metallic compound? Well of course it can. The Imperium has been doing it for thousands of years. ;)

So, you think the process of converting the state of the Lhyd will produce energy? Sure, that's already factored into the fantastic efficiency of the Powerplant. Did you think the over 100% efficiency was magic? ;)

Anyway, it's kind of a "what, me worry" attitude but it saves redesigning every frakkin ship in the 'verse and adjusting every rule that changes because of it. The dominoes are all lined up. If you change the fuel density, the whole game will start to unravel or need changing. Well, more so than it does already ;)

far-trader September 19th, 2007 05:59 PM

Oh, and as for needing oxygen to burn/explode and there being none in space. Most ships are mostly oxygen ;) All those non-fuel spaces are oxygen rich.

And no, I don't believe in the stupid "before battle ships routinely depressurize" hooey for a lot of reasons. But that's another topic I've addressed before :)

ChalkLine September 20th, 2007 12:39 AM

Isn't Hydrogen a poor choice for fusion? It gives off a huge amount of neutrons, so you irradiate everything or carry around tons of shielding.

I've heard Helium3 is a better choice, although you can't crack it from water.

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