Tonka (fuel)

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Tonka (also TONKA-250 and R-Stoff) is the name given to a German-designed rocket propellant; it has also been used by North Korea[1] and (under the name TG-02) by the Soviet Union.

Its composition is approximately 50% triethylamine and 50% xylidine, with nitric acid as a hypergolic oxidizer. Its use by amateurs is not advised, as the exact proportions of ingredients necessary for the mixture to work as desired, rather than fail catastrophically, is a function both of the ingredients' purity, and of their temperature during use.

Its name is a reference to the tonka bean;[2] as it was invented during the Second World War, it has no connection to the similarly named toys.

Triethylamine / xylidine mixtures composed the TX and TX2 fuels of the French SEPR rocket engines of the 1950s, used for auxiliary rocket power in the Mirage IIIC.[3] In aircraft use, TX fuels were later replaced by non-toxic kerosene jet fuels, simplifying fuelling of the aircraft. Little change was required to the engines but as this was no longer hypergolic with nitric acid, a small tank of TX was retained for ignition.


  1. ^ "Analysis of North Korean missiles using Tonka fuel". Nuclear Threat Initiative. 
  2. ^ Clark, John D. (1972). Ignition! An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants. Rutgers University Press. p. 14. ISBN 0-8135-0725-1. 
  3. ^ ROTHMUND, Christophe (2004). Reusable Man-rated Rocket Engines: The French Experience, 1944-1996. (PDF). 55th International Astronautical Congress. Vancouver, Canada. p. 2. IAC-04-IAA-