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International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion
ESCI SJR: 0.149 SNIP: 0.16 CiteScore™: 0.29

ISSN Print: 2150-766X
ISSN Online: 2150-7678

International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion

DOI: 10.1615/IntJEnergeticMaterialsChemProp.2014011111
pages 251-285

HYPERGOLIC IONIC LIQUID FUELS AND OXIDIZERS

Haixiang Gao
Department of Applied Chemistry, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
Songqing Li
Department of Applied Chemistry, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
Venugopal Thottempudi
Department of Chemistry, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, USA
John P. Maciejewski
Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, MD, USA
Thao T. Vo
Department of Chemistry, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, USA
Ling He
College of Chemistry, Sichuan University Chengdu, China
Qinghua Zhang
Institute of Chemical Materials, China Academy of Engineering Physics Mianyang, China
Jean'ne M. Shreeve
Department of Chemistry, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, USA

ABSTRACT

Hypergols (fuel and oxidizer that ignite on contact) are useful for space propulsion since reaction can be initiated or terminated by opening or closing appropriate valves. Hypergolic liquid propellants are strongly preferred over solid fuels or oxidizers since they show excellent hypergolic ignition and low ignition delay time, high specific impulse, and better thrust control. Hydrazine, and its methylsubstituted derivatives, are fuels of choice based on favorable combustion characteristics, and high specific impulse. However, these positive properties are diminished by many drawbacks including the volatility of these fuels which, because of their carcinogenic and toxic nature, require costly handling procedures to meet environmental requirements during manufacture, storage, shipping, and application. Based on these unattractive properties, chemists worldwide have been catalyzed to develop alternative environmentally friendly hypergolic ionic liquid propellants as fuels. Anions of these salts, which include dicyanamide, dicyanoborate, cyanoborate, azide, nitrate, aluminum borohydride, nitrocyanamide, etc., appear to play the major role in determining hypergolic properties. Although cations play a lesser role, they are most frequently nitrogen-containing alkyl and aromatic species, e.g., substituted alkyl ammonium, imidazolium, imidazolium-substituted with alkyl, vinyl, propargyl, etc. New stable, dense, storable oxidizers are needed in order to address dependably the demands for energetic systems that are on call 24/7 since the typical oxidizers are likely to be cryogens, unstable liquids, or corrosive substances. Stable room temperature oxidizers that possess positive chlorine or bromine atoms, e.g., azo bis (bromochloro FOX), exhibit appropriate properties when reacted with fuels. There is a strong need to design and synthesize compounds to be used as long-term storable oxidizers or as stable electron-rich fuels.


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