Accession Number:



An Ignition Torch Based on Photoignition of Carbon Nanotubes at Elevated Pressure (Briefing Charts)

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,02 Nov 2015,04 Jan 2016

Corporate Author:

Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/RQRC) Edwards AFB United States

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



A high-pressure nano-ignition torch has been developed which takes advantage of the photoignition properties of single wall carbon nanotubes SWNTs. The initiation of combustion in a cryogenic O2-H2 coaxial injector at about 32 atm 470 psi with O2 temperatures of about 130 K was achieved with a 200 mg torch containing no more than 70 mg of SWNT-based fuel. Our investigation includes the effects of chamber pressure, the presence of different solid oxidizers such as boronpotassium nitrate BKNO3, potassium permanganate KMnO4and ammonium perchlorate AP as well as solid fuels, such as aluminum nanoparticles and solid propellant, on the functionality of the nano-ignition torch. We have shown that by mixing SWNT with other nanoparticles and powdered materials, the ignition parameters such as burn temperature, burn duration and the ignition byproducts can be tailored to meet different ignition requirements. It is anticipated that photoignition provides a suitable method for ignition of systems that require the start of combustion at a high pressure up to about 135 atm 2000 psi as well as ignition of certain thrusters and liquid rocket engines that require an extremely small and light weight torch igniter. The disclosed ignition method is based on robust off-the-shelf technology and it is scalable to applications in very small as well as large combustion chambers such as gas turbines, gas generators, liquid rocket engines and possibly multi grain solid rocket motors.

Subject Categories:

Distribution Statement: