Assessment of the Compositional Variability of RP-1 and RP-2 with the Advanced Distillation Curve Approach
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB EDWARDS AFB CA PROPULSION DIRECTORATE
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RP-1 is a long-established hydrocarbon fuel that continues to be widely used as the kerosene component in rocket propulsion systems. The desire in recent years to use rocket motors many times, rather than a single time, has led to reformulations of RP-1. In terms of processing, increased hydro-treating of the component feedstock fluids used in the manufacture of RP-1 can lower the sulfur, olefin and aromatic content significantly. The resulting fuels have demonstrably lower metal corrosion effects, and are thus more amenable to multiple use rocket motors. In recent years, the reformulated RP-1 mixtures have been extensively studied in terms of thermophysical properties, combustion processes and kinetics, and performance. Still unknown is how compositional variability resulting from the various blending strategies affects the properties, and our ability to correctly predict the fluid behavior with mathematical models. To address this question, we have obtained eleven orthogonal batches of RP-1 that were prepared to represent the range of formulation recipes. For each of these representative formulations, we have assessed the compositional variability with the advanced distillation curve ADC metrology. This method is an improvement of classical boiling curve techniques. In this paper, we use the temperature grid of the ADC to conclude that the variability of RP-1 and RP-2 are significant, and perhaps higher than expected.
- Organic Chemistry
- Rocket Engines