Created in the furnaces of dying supermassive stars the rare Tylium mineral ore was discovered about two centuries ago by deep space probes looking for raw materials in asteroids. The ore was found to have unique properties the most important of which was its very high enthalpy of combustion, far higher than that generated by nuclear fusion. Due to its complex atomic structure, Tylium ore is easily rendered inert by nuclear radiation.
As fuel Tylium was unparalleled. It was more efficient than any other method previously used in starship designs. It gave Colonial ships an substantial range boost. It allowed the development of rapid long-range fighters and freed ships from the relatively slow sublight ion drives that had been used previously.
As an explosive Tylium also beat the competition. Only nuclear weapons were more effective. When used as propellant for KEW guns or missiles it offered greater velocities than magnetic railguns. When used as warheads it offered a devastating yield without the radiation of atomic warheads.
Tylium opened new opportunities in space travel and greatly improved the fighting capacity of the Colonial Fleet. It allowed the development of the Battlestar and gave Colonial warriors the tools to meet the Cylons head on and defeat them.