Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Kristina M. Lemmer

Second Advisor

Dr. Bade Shrestha

Third Advisor

Dr. Ramakrishna Guda


HAN, dual-mode, propulsion, decomposition, ALPE

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This research investigates the decomposition of the ionic liquid: hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN), under vacuum conditions. All research was conducted at the Aerospace Laboratory for Plasma Experiments (ALPE) at Western Michigan University. Hydroxylammonium nitrate solution 24% wt. in H2O was used consistently throughout this research. A variety of temperatures and pressures ranging from 23°C to 645°C and 6E-3 Torr to 4 Torr, respectively, were used to decompose HAN. The primary gaseous species resulting from these decomposition conditions are N2O, NO, and trace amounts of NO2. The formation of H2O, and N2 is conditional on the experimental conditions, and the formation of HNO3 was also observed. A Residual Gas Analyzer with a range of 300 atomic mass units was used as the primary diagnostic for this research.