Spiking of Hydrocarbon Fuels with Silanes-based Combustion Enhancers
The concept of spiking hydrocarbon fuels such as kerosenes with liquid silicon hydrides in order to render the fuel combination hypergolic and to improve the combustion efficiency is presented and preliminarily analyzed. In view of scarcity of available data, various approaches are used, among them quantum-mechanical ab initio calculations for the thermodynamics and shock-tube measurements for the inetics of higher, liquid silanes. Based on these results and other data, performance predictions indicate that iscible hydrocarbon/silicon hydride fuels (HC/SH) have the potential to be stored in a single tank, to be hypergolic ith many oxidizers, and to yield similar, partly better specific impulses (and volume-specific impulses) than ydrocarbon fuels without silane additives. A variety of hybrid HC/SH fuel combinations seems to be accessible, hich might offer the possibility to design a fuel combination with characteristics adjustable in a wide range. The current and future availability of larger amounts of liquid silanes is discussed.
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