Hydronitrogens as Future Automotive Fuels

  • E. W. Schmidt


A group of synthetic fuels called hydronitrogens has been evaluated as automotive fuels for the time period beyond the year 2000. Hydronitrogen fuels are composed of hydrogen and nitrogen. As such, they can be synthesized from air and water without the use of fossil fuels. The main hydronitrogen fuels are hydrazine, N2H4, and ammonia, NH3. Ammonia by itself has already been extensively tested by other investigators and was found to have poor combustion properties. No work has been reported to date on hydrazine combustion in internal combustion engines, but hydrazine burning velocity in air is expected to be higher than that of ammonia or hydrocarbons. This will result in more rapid and more complete combustion. When completely burned, and after removing eventually formed nitrogen oxides, hydronitrogen fuels would be non-polluting to the environment.

So far, other authors have considered ammonia or hydrazine for automotive fuels as pure substances only. However, the full advantages of hydronitrogen fuels can best be achieved in binary or ternary mixtures of hydrazine with ammonia and/or water, which have freezing points as low as -65°F. The selection criteria for hydronitrogen fuel mixtures will be discussed.

The paper summarizes the preparation of hydronitrogen fuels, production statistics, adaptability and performance in automotive engines, handling, safety and materials compatibility. The results of an evaluation matrix of hydronitrogens versus other non-conventional fuels for the time period beyond the year 2000, are discussed. The results of preliminary tests at Rocket Research Corporation with hydrazine and hydrazine mixtures in a single-cylinder internal combustion engine will be presented.


Freezing Point Internal Combustion Engine Hazard Index Flame Temperature Octane Number 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. W. Schmidt
    • 1
  1. 1.Rocket Research CorporationRedmondUSA

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