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Air-Stable Nanopowders of Mixed Reactive Metals as Fuel Additives

  • Michael R. Weismiller (a1), Zachary J. Huba (a1), Emily L. Maling (a2), Albert Epshteyn (a3) and Bradley A. Williams (a3)...


Nano-sized metallic powders have advantages as fuels including faster, more complete combustion than micron-sized metal powder particles; however, the unpassivated nanoparticles of some metals of interest, such as Al, are pyrophoric and highly reactive, making them difficult to handle. Additionally, metal-hydrides are of great potential interest for a significant gravimetric energy increase without a penalty in the volumetric energy content, as the inclusion of hydrogen in the metallic matrix does not significantly decrease overall density of the material. Reactive metal amorphous powders produced by the sonochemical decomposition and dehydrogenation of an in situ-produced mixed borohydride-tetrahydroaluminate of titanium and containing hydrogen are examined in the current work and show exceptional air-stability and higher energy content than nano-Al. An aerosolized powder burner is used to investigate the combustion behavior of these powders mixed with gaseous fuels to quantify the energy density and reaction rate as compared to commercial aluminum powders in an effort to benchmark the performance of the sonochemically generated amorphous Ti-Al-B powder fuels.


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