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Kinetics Parameters Evaluation of Paraffin-Based Fuel

[+] Author Affiliations
Genivaldo P. Santos, Pedro T. Lacava, Susane R. Gomes, José Atíllio F. F. Rocco

Aeronautical Technology Institute, São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil

Paper No. IMECE2012-86275, pp. 471-480; 10 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 1: Advances in Aerospace Technology
  • Houston, Texas, USA, November 9–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4517-2
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


In recent years, Hybrid Propulsion is turning into a significant alternative to Liquid and Solid Propulsion Systems, it presents attractive features and good balance between performance and environmental impact. Thus, paraffin based propellant grains are indicated as a substitute for hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB), the actual solid propellant fuel grain. Despite being a well-known material, scarce data on the relation of activation energy (Ea) and molecular weight (WCxHy) of paraffin is available. In this work, the kinetic parameters (activation energy and pre-exponential factor) of microcrystalline 140/145°F paraffin have been raised through Thermo Gravimetric Analysis in conjunction with the Arrhenius kinetic mechanism, according to ASTM-E1461 and the dependence of molecular weight with melting point from Etessam and Sawyer approach. The 140/145°F paraffin activation energy calculated in this study was compared with different activation energy from alkanes and substances used as fuel in the propulsion systems field. The analysis indicated that the microcrystalline 140/145°F paraffin, manufactured by Petrobras, presents activation energy of 224 KJ.mol−1 and pre-exponential factor of 5.48×1022 min−1. Ignition was achieved with a 50 W pyrotechnic igniter. The firing test with 140/145°F paraffin fuel and gaseous oxygen (GOX) mass flux of 130 Kg.s−1 m−2 at pressure above 0.80 MPa, was easily sustained.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Fuels , Paraffin wax



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