Thermal decomposition of monomethylhydrazine: Shock tube experiments and kinetic modeling

Hongyan Sun, Laurent Catoire, Chung King Law

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The thermal decomposition of gaseous monomethylhydrazine (MMH) was studied by recording MMH absorption at 220 nm of the reacting gas behind a reflected shock wave at temperatures of 900-1370 K, pressures of 140-450 kPa, and in mixtures containing 97.5-99 mol% argon. Based on previous work (Sun and Law; J Phys Chem A 2007, 111(19), 3748-3760), a kinetic mechanism was developed over extended temperature and pressure ranges to model these experimental data. Specifically, the temperature and pressure dependence of the unimolecular rate coefficients on the dissociation of MMH and the associated radicals were calculated by the QRRK/Master equation analysis at temperatures of 300-2000 K and pressures of 1-100 atm based on published thermochemical and kinetic parameters. They were then fitted using the Troe formalism and incorporated in the kinetic model. This unadjusted model was then used to predict the MMH decomposition profiles at different temperatures and pressures for seven groups of MMH/Ar mixtures and the half-life decomposition times from shock tube experiments. Good, agreement was observed below 940 K and above 1150 K for the diluted MMH/Ar mixtures. The model predictions further show that the overall MMH decomposition rate follows first-order kinetics, and that the N-N bond scission is the most sensitive reaction path for the modeling of the homogeneous decomposition of MMH at elevated pressures. However, the model predictions deviate from the experimental data with the incubation period of ca. 100 μs observed in the 1030-1090 K temperature range, and it also predicts longer ignition delays for highly concentrated MMH/Ar mixtures. The discrepancy between the model predictions and experimental data at these special conditions of MMH decomposition was analyzed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-186
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Chemical Kinetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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