High-pressure combustion behavior of nitromethane

E. Boyer, K. K. Kuo

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The combustion behavior of the nitromethane (CH3NO2) liquid monopropellant was studied using an ultra-high pressure strand burner (UHPSB), a liquid propellant.strand burner (LPSB), and a UV/Visible absorption spectrometer. This UHPSB facility was used to obtain burning rates for pressures up to 30,000 psi. Burning rate expressions were developed over a wide range of pressures. Three distinct regimes were observed: below approximately 15 MPa, the bum rate exponent was 1.03; above this pressure, it became abruptly steeper, to 2.33, and finally flattened to 0.86 for pressures between 70 and 170 MPa. A one-dimensional kinetic model based on the Chemkin-II library code using Melius’ nitromethane kinetics mechanism was adopted to obtain species and temperature profiles for the nitromethane flame. At 3.0 MPa, the main product species in declining order of mole fraction were CO, H2O, H2, N2, and CO2. The most important intermediate reactants were NO, CH2O, NO2, and HCN. A thin reaction zone of approximately 400 micrometers corresponded well with flame observations at similar conditions. UV/Visible absorption measurements using LP burning inside a square quartz sample cell corroborated the calculated low OH mole fraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 1999
Event35th Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1999 - Los Angeles, United States
Duration: Jun 20 1999Jun 24 1999


Other35th Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1999
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering


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