Characteristics of nitromethane for propulsion applications

Eric Boyer, Kenneth K. Kuo

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

23 Scopus citations


Although hydrazine has been used for space thrusters for many years, recent environmental concerns have led to the need for its replacement for monopropellant candidates with high-performance and reduced toxicity. This has led to study of nitromethane (NM, or CH3NO2), which offers potential to meet that need. Nitromethane is a readily-available industrial chemical and has a wide variety of applications, including use as a solvent for chemical processing and analysis. The energetic nature of this compound also makes it useful as a liquid explosive and as a high-performance additive to fuel for internal combustion engines. As a storable high-energy monopropellant, it exhibits high specific impulse and has low toxicity. It also has a great potential to serve as the base for energetic gel propellants. To encourage and enable future propulsion studies, this paper summarizes much of the previous and current work, and collects many properties necessary for combustion and propulsion studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - 44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)1563478072, 9781563478079
StatePublished - 2006
Event44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting 2006 - Reno, NV, United States
Duration: Jan 9 2006Jan 12 2006

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - 44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting


Other44th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityReno, NV

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Aerospace Engineering


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