Linear burn rate of green ionic liquid multimode monopropellant

Nicolas Rasmont, Emil J. Broemmelsiek, Joshua L. Rovey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multimode space propulsion systems are being proposed that integrate high specific impulse electric propulsion and high thrust chemical propulsion. The most important attribute of this concept is a shared propellant capable of both modes of propulsion, which enables mission flexibility. One promising approach is a catalytic monopropellant thruster paired with an electrospray electric thruster. Previous research has identified a green double-salt ionic liquid consisting of 41% wt. 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium ethyl sulfate and 59% wt. hydroxylammonium nitrate as a promising propellant candidate. In this work, the burn rate of this monopropellant is measured through pressure-based and high-speed imaging methods in a fixed-volume chamber pressurized across a pressure range from 0.5 to 10 MPa. Its performance is benchmarked by 80% wt. hydroxylammonium nitrate-water and nitromethane propellants. The burn rate of the multimode monopropellant is found to follow an exponential law given by rb=5.35exp1.11P between 0.5 and 3 MPa and is approximately constant at 142 ± 29 mm/s between 3 and 10 MPa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-224
Number of pages13
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Energetic ionic liquid
  • Green monopropellant
  • Hydroxylammonium nitrate
  • Linear burn rate
  • Multimode propulsion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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