Digital Solid State Propulsion
Digital Solid State Propulsion

Say No to Perchlorates!

Making and using old solid rocket propellants for downhole use:

still a bad idea…


DSSP doesn’t use the highly toxic, 50-year old perchlorate based solid rocket propellants that others use. The groundwater pollution legacy of perchlorate manufacturing and use is an ongoing 30-year legacy of wide spread health effects and ongoing lobbying by the polluters to suppress the US EPA regulatory actions.

Perchlorates are endocrine inhibitors and have both acute exposure and long-term effects on thyroid function. It wasn't until the late 80's and 90's that the problems associated with perchlorates on the groundwater were becoming apparent. This realization and new regulations have cleaned up industry practices today, but the groundwater legacy of perchlorates use persists.

Just last year, Corona California spent $7M on an anion exchange water treatment plant specifically to remove perchlorates from their drinking water.  Perchlorates are particularly dangerous to infants and fetuses reducing oxygen in the blood and causing low birth weights.  So, perhaps you don’t care about communities you never heard of with perchlorate contaminated drinking water?   Except, that perchlorate pollution from the Colorado River concentrates in the lettuce grown in areas of Arizona and California that use that water.  Maybe remember this as you enjoy your next winter salad? 


The Walt Disney Corporation rapidly replaced perchlorate based fireworks when contamination was detected in the lakes around Orlando.

The supply of perchlorates is highly controlled and is subject to supply/cost uncertainties of a single US manufacturer today.  

Perchlorates are also really dangerous to make and the PEPCON manufacturing plant (near Las Vegas) accident created the largest domestic, non-nuclear explosion in recorded history.  Watch the massive shock wave that sweeps across the desert!  Expanding the use of perchlorates is dangerous to people and the environment.

While the use of perchlorate-based propellants may still be well justified for U.S. defense systems, their expanded use for enhanced oil recovery or fireworks is really not.


The good news is that DSSP’s liquid propellants have higher performance but are green and safer to make and use than those nasty perchlorates.