Combustion performance of several nanosilicon-based nanoenergetics

B. Aaron Mason, Lori J. Groven, Steven F. Son, Richard A. Yetter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Silicon-based nanoenergetics have great potential due to silicon's good thermochemical properties, high active content, and surface modification potential. The combustion characteristics of several silicon-based nanoenergetics were studied by performing equilibrium calculations, initial screening tests, and instrumented burn tube experiments. Results of constant pressure equilibrium calculations predicting adiabatic combustion temperatures and volumetric gas production are shown and the mechanisms that produce these results are discussed. For 14 of the 19 Si/oxidizer systems studied, such as Si/perchlorate systems, the predicted maximum adiabatic combustion temperatures are about 3000 K. For the materials considered the highest predicted combustion temperature is for the Si/polytetrafluoroethylene system at 3531 K, whereas the Si/metal oxide systems are predicted to have adiabatic combustion temperatures ranging from 2282 to 2978 K. The dissociation of SiO2 to SiO was observed to limit predicted adiabatic combustion temperatures. Theoretical maximum gas production of the reactive Si composites ranged from 350 to 6500 cm3/g, with Si/NH4ClO4 producing the most gas and Si/Fe2O3 producing the least. Based on initial screening tests, the nanopowder systems Si/NaClO4 · H 2O, Si/KMnO4, Si/NH4ClO4, and Si/sulfur were chosen for loose powder burn tube experiments using Si nanopowder. Of the reactive composites studied, Si/NH4ClO4 yielded the fastest loose powder tube burning rate, which was about 530 m/s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1435-1444
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Propulsion and Power
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Combustion performance of several nanosilicon-based nanoenergetics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this