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International Journal of Aerospace Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 269836, 5 pages
Research Article

Thermochemical Analysis of Hypergolic Propellants Based on Triethylaluminum/Nitrous Oxide

Department of Mechanical Engineering, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM 87801, USA

Received 6 June 2014; Accepted 30 July 2014; Published 27 August 2014

Academic Editor: Linda L. Vahala

Copyright © 2014 Stephen M. Davis and Nadir Yilmaz. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The vacuum specific impulse, density vacuum specific impulse, and solid exhaust products were examined for several propellant formulations based on the pyrophoric material triethylaluminum (TEA) using CEA thermodynamics code. Evaluation of TEA neat and mixed with hydrocarbon fuels with LOX, N2O, N2O4, liquefied air, and HNO3 were performed at stoichiometry. The vacuum specific impulse of neat TEA with N2O is comparable to that of nitric acid with the same, but the N2O formulation will produce slightly less solid products during combustion. Additionally, N2O-TEA propellants have vacuum specific impulses and density vacuum specific impulses within 92.9% and 86.7% of traditional hydrazine propellant formulations under stoichiometric conditions.