Thermal decomposition study of hydroxylamine nitrate during storage and handling
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Hydroxylamine nitrate (HAN), an important agent for the nuclear industry and the U.S. Army, has been involved in several costly incidents. To prevent similar incidents, the study of HAN safe storage and handling boundary has become extremely important for industries. However, HAN decomposition involves complicated reaction pathways due to its autocatalytic behavior and therefore presents a challenge for definition of safe boundaries of HAN storage and handling. This research focused on HAN decomposition behavior under various conditions and proposed isothermal aging testing and kinetic-based simulation to determine safety boundaries for HAN storage and handling. Specifically, HAN decomposition in the presence of glass, titanium, stainless steel with titanium, or stainless steel was examined in an Automatic Pressure Tracking Adiabatic Calorimeter (APTAC). n-th order kinetics was used for initial reaction rate estimation. Because stainless steel is a commonly used material for HAN containers, isothermal aging tests were conducted in a stainless steel cell to determine the maximum safe storage time of HAN. Moreover, by changing thermal inertia, data for HAN decomposition in the stainless steel cell were examined and the experimental results were simulated by the Thermal Safety Software package. This work offers useful guidance for industries that manufacture, handle, and store HAN. The experimental data acquired not only can help with aspects of process safety design, including emergency relief systems, process control, and process equipment selection, but also is a useful reference for the associated theoretical study of autocatalytic decomposition behavior.
Zhang, Chuanji (2003). Thermal decomposition study of hydroxylamine nitrate during storage and handling. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from