Combustion of novel thermite mixtures for iodine generation

Sergio Emanuel Guerrero, University of Texas at El Paso


Halogen-containing reactive materials could be used for mitigating the spread of hazardous, active biological microorganisms aerosolized as a result of explosion. The present work exhibits experimental results on the combustion of mechanically alloyed aluminum-iodine (Al-I2) powder mixed with Fe2O3, CuO, MoO3, Bi2O 3, and I2O5. Wet mixing was used to prepare the samples, which were then compacted into pellets and ignited with a CO 2 laser. A chamber was designed and built to accommodate for combustion and collection of products, and the available laser ignition setup was modified to enable combustion experiments with rapidly burning gas-generating mixtures. High-speed video recording was used for observation and analysis of the combustion process. Solid combustion products were collected for phase characterization by XRD as well as for chemical titration to determine the amount of released iodine. Mixtures of the Al-I2 powder with Fe2O 3 did not ignite, while mixtures of this powder with the other oxides exhibited a self-sustained propagation of the combustion front with similar burn rates. Comparison experiments with a finer, micron-sized Al powder have shown a more rapid combustion of mixtures based on metal oxides and, in contrast, a slower and unsteady combustion of Al/ I2O5 thermite. These observations were interpreted based on the analysis of reaction mechanisms. XRD analysis of solid combustion products for mixtures of the Al-I2 powder with CuO, Bi2O3, and I2O5 revealed full oxidation of Al, which, however, may also be related to its oxidation by atmospheric oxygen. The chemical titration was used to analyze the combustion products of Al-I2/I2O5 mixture and the results confirmed that the suitability of this method for quantifying iodine in combustion products of gas-generating mixtures.

Subject Area

Chemical engineering|Mechanical engineering

Recommended Citation

Guerrero, Sergio Emanuel, "Combustion of novel thermite mixtures for iodine generation" (2016). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10118223.