Chemical and Biological Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Winter 1-15-2019


Sandia National Laboratories has used substoichiometric titanium hydride as a pyrotechnic fuel for decades. Production of titanium subhydride requires partial dehydriding of titanium hydride powder and subsequent chemical passivation to render the resultant bare titanium surface nonreactive and the powder non-pyrophoric. Novel passivation techniques, using a gas other than air, have been suggested in the past but have never been investigated. This work examines the reaction kinetics of titanium subhydride with three passivating agents, nitrogen, oxygen, and propane. These passivation experiments took place under isothermal conditions (420 ˚C) with varied dehydriding and passivation time periods. It was found that the kinetic model for these reactions demonstrated a combination of logarithmic and parabolic mass gain terms. Post reaction material characterization showed that the each passivation method resulted in a titanium oxide surface layer. This work concludes that these passivation techniques result in minimal differences in surface characteristics.


pyrotechnic, national laboratory, oxidation, titanium

Document Type




Degree Name

Chemical Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Chemical and Biological Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Fernando Garzon

Second Committee Member

Daniel Bufford

Third Committee Member

Randall Schunk