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Facile Template Free Shape Controlled Synthesis of α-Fe2O3 Truncated Octahedral Microstructures for the Thermal Decomposition of Ammonium Perchlorate


Vijayasree Haridas, Sankaran Sugunan and Binitha N. Narayanan*   Pages 1 - 4 ( 4 )


Background: The combustion behaviour of the solid rocket propellants is highly dependent on the thermal decomposition characteristics of ammonium perchlorate (AP) and thus lowcost, facile and scalable preparation of the additive metal oxide based catalysts are highly desired for the AP decomposition.

Objective: A template free one-step low-cost preparation of α-Fe2O3 for its use as a catalyst in the decomposition of AP.

Methods: The catalyst is prepared by the simple heating of ferric chloride at 380 °C without any chemical treatment. The material is characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and high-resolution TEM (HRTEM). The catalytic thermal decomposition of AP over α-Fe2O3 was measured by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC).

Results: The material exhibited pure α-Fe2O3 crystalline phase. Morphological investigations revealed the uniform formation of truncated octahedral microstructures of αFe2O3. DSC analysis confirmed the two step exothermic thermal decomposition of AP with decreased decomposition temperatures with the catalytic assistance of α-Fe2O3.

Conclusions: With the catalytic assistance of present low-cost and easily prepared α-Fe2O3, the decomposition temperature is decreased by 30 ºC when compared to the pure ammonium perchlorate and a high decomposition heat release of 807 Jg-1 is observed.


α-Fe2O3, truncated octahedral microstructure, facile preparation, decomposition of ammonium perchlorate


Department of Chemistry, Sree Neelakanta Government Sanskrit College Pattambi, Palakkad-679306, Kerala, Department of Applied Chemistry, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin 22, Kerala, Department of Chemistry, Sree Neelakanta Government Sanskrit College Pattambi, Palakkad-679306, Kerala

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