Functionalized graphene sheet colloids for enhanced fuel/propellant combustion

Justin L. Sabourin, Daniel M. Dabbs, Richard A. Yetter, Frederick L. Dryer, Ilhan A. Aksay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

240 Scopus citations


We have compared the combustion of the monopropellant nitromethane with that of nitromethane containing colloidal particles of functionalized graphene sheets or metal hydroxides. The linear steady-state burning rates of the monopropellant and colloidal suspensions were determined at room temperature, under a range of pressures (3.35-14.4 MPa) using argon as a pressurizing fluid. The ignition temperatures were lowered and burning rates increased for the colloidal suspensions compared to those of the liquid monopropellant alone, with the graphene sheet suspension having significantly greater burning rates (i.e., greater than 175%). The relative change in burning rate from neat nitromethane increased with increasing concentrations of fuel additives and decreased with increasing pressure until at high pressures no enhancement was found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3945-3954
Number of pages10
JournalACS Nano
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 22 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Combustion
  • Graphene
  • Metal oxide
  • Nanoparticle
  • Nitromethane
  • Propellant


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