Hydroxylammonium nitrate species in a monopropellant electrospray plume

Mitchell J. Wainwright, Joshua L. Rovey, Shawn W. Miller, Benjamin D. Prince, Steven P. Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A mixture of 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium ethyl sulfate (EmimEtSO4) and hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN) is an energetic monopropellant potentially suitable in a multimode chemical-electric microtube-electrospray micropropulsion system. In this work, electrospray plume mass spectra are compared between the monopropellant mixture and neat EmimEtSO4. This comparison clearly indicates new and additional species present in the plume due to the addition of HAN. Mass spectra from 20 to 600 amu∕q were obtained over a variety of angles and flow rates from 2 pL∕s to 3 nL∕s in both cation and anion extraction modes. Mass spectra dependence on flow rate and angular orientation agree qualitatively well with literature. Results indicate the presence of HAN-based species in anion mode, but no HAN-based species in cation mode. Three of the four monomer species from the monopropellant are apparent in the plume; Emim, EtSO4, and NO3are observed, whereas HA is noticeably absent. Results also show emission of both proton-transferred covalent forms of HAN: [HA-H] and HNO3. Swapping of anion and cation species between the constituents of the monopropellant mixture is also observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)922-929
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Propulsion and Power
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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