Combustion and Flame, Vol.213, 132-139, 2020
Burning properties of redox crystals of ammonium nitrate and saccharides
Ammonium nitrate (AN, NH4 NO3) constitutes the key ingredient of monofuels and civilian-grade explosives, attracting scientific interests aimed at improving their operational and safety performance. This study investigates the combustion properties of redox crystals comprising ammonium nitrate and simple saccharides, with the infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and molecular modelling. Furthermore, the thermogravimetric measurements afford the isoconversional analysis that yields the overall activation energies of the decomposition process. In addition, the synthesised samples are subjected to elemental and sorption analyses. The results outline (i) the molecular inclusion of the solid fuels within the lattice clusters of AN, (ii) a comparable hygroscopicity behaviour, i.e., a minor increase in affinity towards the absorption of moisture, and (iii) an energetically improved decomposition (and regression) rate, relatively to pristine AN. These features manifest themselves in lower activation energies of redox crystals that enhance the deflagrating properties of these materials for possible application in aviation propellants, and minimise the environmental footprint, especially the emission of nitrogen oxide to the atmosphere, which arises because of inhomogeneities in AN-fuel mixtures commonly used in civilian explosives. (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Combustion Institute.