THE RADIOLYTIC DECOMPOSITION OF MONOMETHYLHYDRAZINE ROCKET FUEL
NAVAL RADIOLOGICAL DEFENSE LAB SAN FRANCISCO CA
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Investigations were made of the possibility of suppressing the generation of noncondensable gases when monomethylhydrazine MMH rocket fuel is subjected to ionizing radiation. MMH produces more than twice its volume of gas measured at 25 C and 1 atm. consisting of hydrogen, nitrogen and methane when irradiated to nearly 10 to the 7th power rads with gamma rays. An attempt at gas suppression was made with chemical additives that could render freeradicals impotent by reacting with them. Two normally efficient olefinic additives freeradical scavengers failed to suppress gas evolution, thereby demonstrating that MMH does not decompose radiolytically via free-radical intermediates. Instead, it decomposes via a molecular or ionic process. The addition of carbon tetrachloride as a potential, gassuppressing additive actually increased gas evolution enormously, and this is explainable on the basis that it initiates a chemical chain reaction.
- Theoretical Mathematics