Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Thermal Stability of RP-2 as a Function of Composition: The Effect of Linear, Branched, and Cyclic Alkanes

Published

Author(s)

Thomas J. Bruno, Jason A. Widegren

Abstract

The objective of this work was to identify compositional changes that could improve the thermal stability of the kerosene rocket propellant known as RP-2. For this study, we tested the effect of different types of alkanes on the thermal stability of RP-2. The proportion of linear, branched or cyclic alkanes was increased by mixing RP-2 with 25 % (by mass) of one of the following alkanes: n-dodecane, n-tetradecane, 4-methyldodecane, 2,6,10-trimethyldodecane, or 1,3,5-triisopropylcyclohexane. These mixtures were thermally stressed in stainless steel ampoule reactors at 673 K (400 °C, 752 °F) for up to 4 hours. All of the reactions were run with an approximate initial pressure of 34.5 MPa (5000 psi). After each reaction, the stressed fuel was analyzed by gas chromatography with flame ionization detection. The decomposition kinetics of each added alkane was determined from the decrease in its chromatographic peak. The overall decomposition kinetics of each fuel mixture was determined from the increase in a suite of chromatographic peaks that correspond to light decomposition products. These data are compared to similar data for neat RP-2.
Citation
Energy and Fuels
Volume
27

Keywords

Complex fluids, hydrocarbon mixtures, kerosene fuel, rocket propellant, RP-2, thermal stability, decomposition kinetics, linear alkane, branched alkane, cyclic alkane, n-dodecane, n-tetradecane, 4-methyldodecane, 2, 6, 10-trimethyldodecane, or 1, 3, 5-triisopropylcyclohexane.
Created August 22, 2013, Updated November 10, 2018