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This may seem like a silly question, but is there a flammable liquid that could oxidise itself, so it could effectively burn in a vacuum?


marked as duplicate by Mithoron, Gaurang Tandon, pentavalentcarbon, aventurin, Tyberius Jun 11 '18 at 3:30

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    $\begingroup$ Rocket propellants, which are generally mixtures of fuel and oxidiser $\endgroup$ – Waylander Jun 8 '18 at 22:01
  • $\begingroup$ Nitroglycerine? $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Jun 8 '18 at 22:01

Indeed yes, and it's been used in all kinds of airless situations, including torpedos and rockets and I think even submarines. It's hydrogen peroxide, which when exposed to a catalyst will oxidize and reduce itself:

2 H2O2(l) -> 2 H2O(g) + O2(g)

You'll notice that the oxygens on the left are in oxidation state -1. Half of them become reduced to the O in water (oxidation state -2) and half become oxidized to the O in O2 (oxidation state 0).

  • $\begingroup$ thanks, could the concentration be 12% or less, as UK laws prohibit me from owning hydrogen peroxide in a concentration greater than 12%? $\endgroup$ – Benjamin Brown Jun 8 '18 at 22:52
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    $\begingroup$ Nope. And those laws were probably passed specifically for the purpose of keeping rocket propellant out of your hands! If you'll settle for vicarious living, I've heard this book amazon.com/Ignition-Informal-History-Liquid-Propellants-ebook/… is a whole lot of fun. $\endgroup$ – Christopher Grayce Jun 8 '18 at 23:02

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