A nanoparticle additive for jet and rocket fuels that was developed at UCF has been licensed to a company established by a former university researcher.

Helicon Chemical Co., LLC, obtained exclusive rights to the technology that improves the dispersion and burning rates of solid fuel propellants.

“It makes them safer, more environmentally friendly and easier to use,” said Sudipta Seal, director of the University of Central Florida’s Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center (AMPAC) and the NanoScience Technology Center and Interim Chair of Materials Science and Engineering “This is a very high-impact agreement.”

Seal and his team invented the technology in collaboration with Dr. Eric Petersen, a former professor at UCF who is now at Texas A&M University. Seal’s team included David Reid, who at the time was a graduate student at AMPAC/MSE. Reid went on to launch Helicon Chemical.

The research was funded in part by contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense.

It’s the latest licensing agreement facilitated by UCF’s Office of Technology Transfer within the Office of Research and Commercialization, which manages the university’s intellectual property assets and helps bring discoveries by faculty, staff and students to the marketplace. Among the benefits of licensing agreements are royalties paid to the inventor’s college, department and to the inventor.

“UCF has been very creative and innovative in helping these companies,” Seal said.