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Thermal Decomposition of RP-1, RP-2, and Mixtures of RP-2 With Stabilizing Additives



Jason A. Widegren, Thomas J. Bruno


----- FOR POLICY REVIEW ONLY ----- The thermal decomposition of RP-1, RP-2, and mixtures of RP-2 with three different additives has been investigated. The mixtures with RP-2 contained 5% 1,2,3,4-tetrahydronaphthalene (tetralin), 5% 1,2,3,4-tetrahydroquinoline (THQ), or 256 mg/L of the additive used to make JP-8+100. Decomposition reactions were performed in stainless steel ampoule reactors at temperatures from 375 °C to 450 °C (648 K to 723 K). All of the reactions were run with an approximate initial pressure of 5000 psi (34.5 MPa). After each reaction the thermally stressed liquid phase was analyzed by gas chromatography. For RP-1 and RP-2, the increase in a suite of light decomposition products was used to derive global, pseudo-first-order rate constants that approximate the overall rate of decomposition. For RP-2, decomposition rate constants ranged from 1.33 x 10-5 s-1 at 375 °C to 5.47 x 10-4 s-1 at 450 °C. The rate constants for RP-1 decomposition were not significantly different. The addition of THQ and tetralin had a significant effect on the decomposition of RP-2. Compared with neat RP-2, the addition of 5% THQ slowed the decomposition by an order of magnitude, while the addition of 5% tetralin slowed the decomposition by approximately 50%.
Proceedings Title
JANNAF Propulsion Meeting Proceedings
Conference Dates
December 8-12, 2008
Conference Location
Orlando, FL
Conference Title
JANNAF 6th Modeling and Simulation / 4th Liquid Propulsion / 3rd Spacecraft Propulsion Joint Subcommittee Meeting


Arrhenius parameters, complex fluids, hydrocarbon mixtures, kerosene fuel, kinetic rate constants, rocket propellant, RP-1, RP-2, thermal decomposition, hydrogen donors, JP-8+100, stabilizer, 1, 2, 3, 4-tetrahydronaphthalene, 1, 2, 3, 4-tetrahydroquinoline, tetralin, THQ


Widegren, J. and Bruno, T. (2008), Thermal Decomposition of RP-1, RP-2, and Mixtures of RP-2 With Stabilizing Additives, JANNAF Propulsion Meeting Proceedings, Orlando, FL, [online], (Accessed July 16, 2024)


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Created November 3, 2008, Updated February 19, 2017