piclist 2002\09\19\044952a >
Thread: hydrogen/aluminium
face BY : Russell McMahon email (remove spam text)

> While on the subject of Al, I remember my 7th grade teacher describing an
> explosive mix made by suspending Al in kerosene.  The trick apparently was
> to keep the particles suspended.
> Does it sound like there is any truth to this?.

Aluminium is a component of many solid rocket fuels. eg Space Shuttle Solid
Rocket Boosters use 16% Aluminium and 70% Oxidiser with the balance being
binder (rubber = fuel as well) and catalyst.

In the case you mention you have two fuels together and no oxidiser so it
seems unlikely that there would be a viable reaction. The Kerosene is a
hydrocarbon and the suspended Aluminium "wants" none of the carbon or
hydrogen and the Oxygen present is in small amount and already quite well
bound. I suspect that he was thinking of some other substance mixed with
Al - suitable oxidisers would certainly fill the required role. Also, some
people have tried "slurry" propellants and the Al/Kero mix would fill that

       Russell McMahon

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