American Elements manufactures a comprehensive catalog of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalyst products for chemical synthesis, pharmaceutical manufacturing, fuel cells, hydrogen storage, and other applications utilizing catalysis reactions. Products groups include platinum group metals (PGM), organometallic compounds, nickel compounds, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), boronic acids, alloys, carbon composites, and numerous other materials. American Elements can manufacture all materials in purities ranging from technical and ACS reagent grades to 99% (2N), 99.9% (3N), 99.99% (4N), 99.999% (5N), and higher, in addition to tailoring compositions to customer specifications. Our engineers are experts in fine chemicals and can provide guidance on topics such as materials selection and technical data.

American Elements maintains industrial scale production for all its catalyst products and will execute Non-Disclosure or Confidentiality Agreements to protect customer know-how.

Innovation Case Study #30: American Elements Develops New Precious Metal Catalyst for Greener Rocket Fuel

#30: American Elements Develops New Precious Metal Catalyst for Greener Rocket Fuel


The Challenge

In recent years, scientists have been researching alternative rocket fuel materials that are safer, more efficient, and environmentally-friendlier than traditional propellant materials like hydrazine. One such material under investigation for use in monopropellant thrusters of smaller spacecraft is nitrous oxide (N2O), which is widely available, inexpensive, easy to store and transport, remains stable in higher temperatures, and produces nontoxic byproducts. Using a catalyst to decompose the N2O improves energy efficiency, as it requires far less power than thermal combustion. Previous experiments have shown rhodium and iridium to be the most effective catalyst materials for N2O decomposition, but the pure metals are susceptible to oxidation in the extremely high temperature environments, in addition to being costly.

The Innovation

In 2018, the Canadian Microsatellite Science and Technology Centre turned to American Elements engineers to develop potential alternative catalysts for the decomposition of N2O that would be both corrosion-resistant and less expensive than the pure platinum group metals. After conducting experiments with numerous pure metals, compounds, and substrate materials, the engineers discovered that rhodium oxide coupled with an aluminum oxide (alumina) substrate was significantly more stable at higher temperatures than the pure rhodium or iridium.

The Result

American Elements developed the innovative catalyst of rhodium oxide on alumina spheres that performed successfully in subsequent tests, making it a viable alternative material for use in more efficient and "greener" spacecraft propellant systems.
Below is merely a selection of the full catalog of Catalysts products that American Elements manufactures. If you do not see a material you're looking for listed, please search the website or contact customerservice@americanelements.com.


Select Catalyst Products


Iridium Catalysts

Platinum Catalysts

Palladium Catalysts

Rhodium Catalysts

Ruthenium Catalysts