Science and Technology of Energetic Materials

Vol.79, No.4 (2018)

Research paper

Real-time analysis of decomposed Gas from HAN(aq.) with/without Ir-based catalyst by thruster-simulation/MPI/TOF-MS
Noboru Itouyama, Totaro Imasaka, and Keiichi Hori


Using multiphoton ionization/time-of-flight mass spectrometry, we evaluated the validity of the conventional mechanism for thermal decomposition of hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN) and investigated the corresponding catalytic reaction to determine the decomposed gases in real time, through a pathway that models a real thruster. HAN with a hot catalyst can provide a low-toxicity, high-performance alternative to hydrazine for use in thruster systems. Our results show that the decomposition of HAN mostly follows the conventional model, but some further reactions need to be considered. We found that the catalyst facilitated the reaction of NH2OH with HONO in the catalytic reaction of HAN and propose a new decomposition pathway.

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reaction control system (RCS), hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN), catalyst, time-of-flight mass spectrometry, multiphoton ionization (MPI)

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