Pyrolysis and combustion of solid fuels in various oxidizing environments

Grant A. Risha, George C. Harting, Kenneth K. Kuo, Arie Peretz, Donald E. Koch, H. Stephen Jones, Joseph P. Arvesf

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


An experimental study was conducted to determine the dependence of the regression rate of two solid-fuel formulations (cured HTPB and JIRAD fuel) on operating conditions near the head-end of a hybrid motor. Cylindrical fuel samples were burned in a windowed combustor at pressures ranging from 0.79 to 3.55 MPa. The burning was sustained by a diffusion flame created over the fuel surface by an impinging oxidizer jet. The gaseous oxidizer was a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen with the oxygen mass fraction ranging from 0.21 to 1.00. For both fuels, the regression rate increased with oxidizer mass flow rate, oxygen mass fraction, and oxidizer temperature, but decreased at higher pressures in the range tested. Measured regression rates, surface temperatures, and operating parameters were used to validate a simple power-law regression rate correlation for each fuel. A modified form of Marxman’s analysis was also developed to consider the effects of species diffusion, heterogeneous surface reactions, and fluid-dynamic/heat transfer processes. The effect of heterogeneous reactions was found to be important in the range of parameters tested. For both fuels, the activation energies of the heterogeneous reactions were lower than the pyrolysis activation energies, with HTPB being more reactive than the JIRAD fuel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 1998
Event34th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1998 - Cleveland, United States
Duration: Jul 13 1998Jul 15 1998


Other34th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1998
Country/TerritoryUnited States

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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