Metal particle combustion and nanotechnology

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

703 Scopus citations


Metal combustion has received renewed interest largely as a result of the ability to produce and characterize metallic nanoparticles. Much of the highly desirable traits of nanosized metal powders in combustion systems have been attributed to their high specific surface area (high reactivity) and potential ability to store energy in surfaces. In addition, nanosized powders are known to display increased catalytic activity, superparamagnetic behavior, superplasticity, lower melting temperatures, lower sintering temperatures, and higher theoretical densities compared to micron and larger sized materials. The lower melting temperatures can result in lower ignition temperatures of metals. The combustion rates of materials with nanopowders have been observed to increase significantly over similar materials with micron sized particles. A lower limit in size of nanoenergetic metallic powders in some cases may result from the presence of their passivating oxide coating. Consequently, coatings, self-assembled monolayers (SAMs), and the development of composite materials that limit the volume of non-energetic material in the powders have been under development in recent years. After a brief review of the classifications of metal combustion based on thermodynamic considerations and the different types of combustion regimes of metal particles (diffusion vs. kinetic control), an overview of the combustion of aluminum nanoparticles, their applications, and their synthesis and assembly is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1819-1838
Number of pages20
JournalProceedings of the Combustion Institute
Volume32 II
StatePublished - 2009
Event32nd International Symposium on Combustion - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: Aug 3 2008Aug 8 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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