Aluminum-Ice (ALICE) propellants for hydrogen generation and propulsion

Grant A. Risha, Terrence L. Connell, Richard A. Yetter, Vigor Yang, Tyler D. Wood, Mark A. Pfeil, Timothee L. Pourpoint, Steven F. Son

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

37 Scopus citations


An experimental investigation was conducted to determine the relative propulsive performance and viability of novel solid propellants comprised of ALICE using fundamental techniques such as steady-state strand experiments and applied experimentation such as lab-scale static fire rocket tests. Burning rates, slag accumulation, thrust, and pressure are some of the experimental parameters obtained. System scaling has been performed to examine the effect of larger systems on slag accumulation and performance parameters. The effect of pressure on the linear burning rate was examined and correlated using a Saint Roberts's law fit. The pressure exponent for ALICE was 0.73, which is approximately a factor of two larger than Al/water mixtures. Three sizes rocket motors ranging from internal diameters of 0.75 to 3-in. Nozzle throat diameter and igniter strength were varied. It was found that ALICE propellants successfully ignited and combusted in each lab-scale rocket motor, generating thrust levels above 223 lbf for expansion ratios of 10 and center-perforated grain configurations (3-in length). For the 3-in motor, combustion efficiency was around 70%, while the specific impulse efficiency was 64%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication45th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit
StatePublished - 2009
Event45th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: Aug 2 2009Aug 5 2009

Publication series

Name45th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit


Other45th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDenver, CO

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • General Energy
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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