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Vibrational spectroscopy and physico-chemical properties of hypergolic ionic liquids

Grant number: 20/06307-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2020
Effective date (End): January 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Physical-Chemistry
Principal Investigator:Rômulo Augusto Ando
Grantee:Rafael Boffo de Souza
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/21070-5 - Vibrational spectroscopy with spatial resolution, AP.TEM


The substitution of conventional solvents by ionic liquids (IL) is already a reality in several processes. A promising technological application is the use of IL as energetic fuels in propulsion motors with hypergolic ignition. The working principle behind these motors is the mixture of a reactive liquid, generally hydrazine derivatives, with oxidizers in order to have a hypergolic ignition, i.e., a spontaneous ignition without the need of oxygen. Due to various issues associated to hydrazine derivatives, as toxicity, high volatility and instability, there is a great effort in searching alternatives for their substitution. Ionic liquids have been considered promising candidates for such application, since they are chemically and thermally stable, do not evaporate, and allow the tuning of their properties by the distinct combination of cations and anions. Among the factors already established to IL possess high energetic throughput is the presence of chemical bonds as CºN, N=N, B-H or NO2 groups in cation or anion structures. Therefore, in this project, the goal is to investigate several hypergolic ionic liquids formed by the anions dicyanamide, tricyanomethanide and cyanoborohydride. The approach is to correlate spectroscopic measurements (Raman, IR and NMR) with physical properties (density and viscosity) and thermal properties (stability, melting and glass transition points), and also with the ignition delay times. Additionally, in order to support the experimental data, computational calculations (DFT) will be performed to the determination of molecular and thermodynamic properties. This project aims a better understanding of the molecular factors which define the efficiency of IL as hypergolic fuels (AU)