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MSEE Seminar: Michelle L. Pantoya, “Advancing Iodine-Based Oxidizers for Energetic Applications”

September 6, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Please contact Veronica Turner for connection information.

An acid-base precipitation reaction will be described to synthesize pure crystals of the oxidizer rich compound [Al(H2O)6](IO3)3(HIO3)2, and the molecule is called aluminum iodate hexahydrate (AIH). The synthesis method produces bipyramidal hexagonal crystals that are characterized physically and chemically by microscopy, pycnometry, and X-ray crystallography. Further characterization on AIH is performed by bomb calorimetry, and safety tests including impact, friction, and electrostatic discharge ignition sensitivity. This presentation will also describe a series of reactivity results demonstrating the energetic behavior of AIH as an oxidizer in thermite, propellant, and explosive applications. The potential of AIH as an alternative solid propellant by comparison to the properties of ammonium perchlorate (AP) and ammonium nitrate (AN) will also be discussed. Fundamental reaction kinetics analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis will be described for pure AIH crystals and combinations of AIH with various fuels. Overall, the iodine gas generation capabilities of AIH may be beneficial to energetic applications that address biological and chemical agent threats.

Michelle Pantoya received her PhD from the University of California, Davis in 1999 and joined the faculty in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Texas Tech University in 2000. As the J. W. Wright Regents Endowed Chair Professor, her research focuses on studying metal particle combustion in ways that can enhance our national safety and security. She has received many research awards including the US Presidential Early Career Award (PECASE) and the DoD Young Investigator Program Award and has 5 patents and over 200 journal publications on this topic. Dr. Pantoya is also an advocate for early engineering education with DOD and DOE STEM grants that promote the development and integration of educational tools and models for culturally and linguistically diverse students. She is also the co-author of several children’s books introducing engineering to young kids (i.e., Engineering Elephants, Designing Dandelions, Optimizing an Octopus).