Liquid Rocket Propellants: Ethanol as Fuel

Author's Name: Gottmann, C. A., Alves, W. F., Rocco, J. A. F. F., Iha, K. & Gonçalves, R. F. B.
Subject Area: Science and Engineering
Subject Engineering
Section Research Paper


Ethanol, Combustion, Rocket Engine


Simulations of propulsive parameters of ethanol/water formulations (99.5 %, 85%, 75% and 70%) are presented, using real combustor parameters. The simulations were performed using the CEA - Computer program for calculation of complex chemical equilibrium compositions and Chemkin, which considers kinetic and thermodynamic parameters (plug flow reactor). According to CEA results, the optimum oxidizer/fuel ratio is 1.6 for the present system. Using this ratio, the simulation showed a specific impulse Is = 226 s and in the experimental test, the specific impulse was obtained Is = 224s (~?=0.9%). The characteristic velocity simulated was 1732 m/s, and the one obtained in the test was 1967 m/s (~?=11%). The method is then a feasible method for predicting real engine systems.

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