Combustion and characterization of nanoscale aluminum and ice propellants

Travis R. Sippel, Steven F. Son, Grant A. Risha, Richard A. Yetter

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

29 Scopus citations


Nanoscale aluminum and water propellants have received considerable interest as of late because of their application to underwater and space propulsion. With the increasing availability of nanoaluminum, such propellants are becoming more feasible. Although particle reactivity is enhanced by decreasing particle diameter, storage problems emerge, resulting in shortened propellant shelf life. This paper demonstrates that these storage problems can be mitigated by freezing the water, creating aluminum and ice (ALICE) solid propellants. Theoretical performance, burning rates, and safety (storage stability, impact, ESD, and detonability) results are also presented and comparisons are made with published data. This initial work shows that ALICE may be practical as a propellant that could be applied in a variety of ways including in situ propellant synthesis on the moon or mars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication44th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781563479434
StatePublished - 2008

Publication series

Name44th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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