Fuel options for next-generation chemical propulsion

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The state of research on developing fuel options for next-generation chemical propulsion is reviewed for aviation fuels and energetic fuels. For aviation fuels, the development is based on considerations of cost, energy security, and climate change, with Fischer-Tropsch synthetic fuels and biofuels hold potential as alternative aviation fuels. The need for basic research to develop predictive capability for the oxidative chemistry of evolving fuels in evolving engine designs is emphasized, illustrated by the intricate reaction pathways and the enormity of the reaction mechanisms involved. Recent research activities toward achieving the goal of fuel design are discussed through the development of detailed mechanisms, reduced mechanisms, and surrogate fuels. For the development of highenergy-density propellants, advances in several classes of materials are discussed, including metallized and hypergolic propellants and propellants with strained and functionalized molecules, as well as nanoparticle addition. The impact of the recent progress in chemical synthesis, materials science, and nano science on these advances is noted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-36
Number of pages18
JournalAIAA journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering


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