Combustion characteristics of nanoaluminum, liquid water, and hydrogen peroxide mixtures

J. L. Sabourin, G. A. Risha, R. A. Yetter, S. F. Son, B. C. Tappan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


An experimental investigation of the combustion characteristics of nanoaluminum (nAl), liquid water (H2O(l)), and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) mixtures has been conducted. Linear and mass-burning rates as functions of pressure, equivalence ratio (Φ), and concentration of H2O2 in H2O(l) oxidizing solution are reported. Steady-state burning rates were obtained at room temperature using a windowed pressure vessel over an initial pressure range of 0.24 to 12.4 MPa in argon, using average nAl particle diameters of 38 nm, Φ from 0.5 to 1.3, and H2O2 concentrations between 0 and 32% by mass. At a nominal pressure of 3.65 MPa, under stoichiometric conditions, mass-burning rates per unit area ranged between 6.93 g/cm2 s (0% H2O2) and 37.04 g/cm2 s (32% H2O2), which corresponded to linear burning rates of 9.58 and 58.2 cm/s, respectively. Burning rate pressure exponents of 0.44 and 0.38 were found for stoichiometric mixtures at room temperature containing 10 and 25% H2O2, respectively, up to 5 MPa. Burning rates are reduced above ∼5 MPa due to the pressurization of interstitial spaces of the packed reactant mixture with argon gas, diluting the fuel and oxidizer mixture. Mass burning rates were not measured above ∼32% H2O2 due to an anomalous burning phenomena, which caused overpressurization within the quartz sample holder, leading to tube rupture. High-speed imaging displayed fingering or jetting ahead of the normal flame front. Localized pressure measurements were taken along the sample length, determining that the combustion process proceeded as a normal deflagration prior to tube rupture, without significant pressure buildup within the tube. In addition to burning rates, chemical efficiencies of the combustion reaction were determined to be within approximately 10% of the theoretical maximum under all conditions studied.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-600
Number of pages14
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Combustion characteristics of nanoaluminum, liquid water, and hydrogen peroxide mixtures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this