Combustion behavior and flame structure of nitromethane

J. Eric Boyer, Kenneth K. Kuo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Better knowledge of nitromethane (CH3NO2) flame structure and combustion behavior is desirable for a number of possible propulsion applications, both earth-based and extraterrestrial. When considered for rocket applications, nitromethane monopropellant is more energetic and less toxic than some current storable monopropellants such as hydrazine, though shock sensitivity questions still remain. In this investigation, the combustion behavior of nitromethane was studied using a variety of experimental and theoretical techniques over a broad range of pressures from 2.5 to 170 MPa. Its burning rates at different pressures were measured in quartz tubes and at a free surface, and found to fall into 3 regimes. At low pressures (4 to 6 MPa), temperature profile measurements using fine-wire thermocouples showed a thick thermal wave in the liquid subsurface, extremely thin flame zone, and final flame temperature of near 2,100 K, significantly less than the equilibrium value of 2,460 K. A model was formulated that included both gas-phase and condensedphase processes. Using the detailed reaction mechanism for nitromethane developed by Yetter and Rabitz coupled with the CHEMKIN code, flame structure was calculated and compared to observations and measured values. Significant differences were found; however, with the modification of kinetic parameters in two elementary reactions, the measured temperature trace was duplicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvancements in Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion
Pages544-566
Number of pages23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005
Event6th International Symposium on Special Topics in Chemical Propulsion: Advancements in Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion, ISICP 2006 - Santiago, Chile
Duration: Mar 8 2005Mar 11 2005

Publication series

NameAdvancements in Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion

Other

Other6th International Symposium on Special Topics in Chemical Propulsion: Advancements in Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion, ISICP 2006
CountryChile
CitySantiago
Period3/8/053/11/05

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Chemistry

Cite this

Boyer, J. E., & Kuo, K. K. (2005). Combustion behavior and flame structure of nitromethane. In Advancements in Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion (pp. 544-566). (Advancements in Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion).