Hydroxylammonium nitrate

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Hydroxylammonium nitrate
CAS number 13465-08-2 YesY
PubChem 26045
ChemSpider 24259 YesY
EC number 236-691-2
Jmol-3D images Image 1
Molecular formula H4N2O4
Molar mass 96.04 g/mol
Solubility in water Soluble
MSDS External MSDS (as 18 % solution)
EU Index 007-028-00-2
EU classification Explosive (E)
Carc. Cat. 3
Toxic (T)
Harmful (Xn)
Irritant (Xi)
Dangerous for the environment (N)
R-phrases R2, R22, R24, R36/38, R40, R43, R48/22, R50
S-phrases (S1/2), S26, S36/37, S45, S61
Related compounds
Other anions Hydroxylammonium sulfate
Hydroxylammonium chloride
Other cations Ammonium nitrate
Related compounds Hydroxylamine
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
 YesY (verify) (what is: YesY/N?)
Infobox references

Hydroxylammonium nitrate or hydroxylamine nitrate (HAN) is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula NH3OHNO3. It is a salt derived from hydroxylamine and nitric acid. In its pure form, it is a colourless hygroscopic solid. It has potential to be used as a rocket propellant either as a solution in monopropellants or bipropellants.[1]


The compound is a salt with separated hydroxyammonium and nitrate ions.[2] Hydroxylammonium nitrate is unstable because it contains both a reducing agent (hydroxylammonium cation) and an oxidizer (nitrate),[3] the situation being analogous to ammonium nitrate. It is usually handled as an aqueous solution. The solution is corrosive and toxic, and may be carcinogenic. Solid HAN is unstable, particularly in the presence of trace amounts of metal salts.


HAN is a potential rocket propellant, both in the solid form as a solid propellant oxidizer, and in the aqueous solution in monopropellant rockets, including the Network Centric Airborne Defense Element boost-phase interceptor being developed by Raytheon.[4] It is typically bonded with glycidyl azide polymer (GAP), hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB), or carboxy-terminated polybutadiene (CTPB) and requires preheating to 200-300 °C to decompose. The catalyst is a noble metal, similar to the other monopropellants that use silver or palladium.

It will be used as monopropellant in the high thrust engines of the Green Propellant Infusion Mission in late 2015.[5][6][7] Catalysts are: platinum, iridium and rhodium. Its specific impulse is about 220-250 s.[citation needed] It has higher performance than hydrazine,[5][7] is more dense (less volume per mass) and has a freezing point at 243 K (−30 °C; −22 °F).[citation needed]

HAN is sometimes used in nuclear reprocessing as a reducing agent for plutonium ions.


  • Donald G. Harlow et al. (1998). "Technical Report on Hydroxlyamine Nitrate". U.S. Department of Energy. DOE/EH-0555
  • Gösta Bengtsson et al. (2002) "The kinetics and mechanism of oxidation of hydroxylamine by iron(III)". J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans., 2002, 2548–2552


  1. ^ Spores, Ronald A.; Masse, Robert; Kimbrel, Scott; McLean, Chris (15–17 July 2013). "GPIM AF-M315E Propulsion System" (PDF). "49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit". San Jose, California, USA. Archived from the original on 2014-02-28. 
  2. ^ Rheingold, A. L.; Cronin, J. T.; Brill, T. B.; Ross, F. K. (March 1987). "Structure of hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN) and the deuterium homolog". Acta Crystallographica Section C 43 (3): 402–404. doi:10.1107/S0108270187095593. 
  3. ^ Pembridge, John R.; et al (1979). Kinetics, Mechanism, and Stoicheiometry of the Oxidation of Hydroxylamine by Nitric Acid. JCS Dalton. pp. 1657–1663. 
  4. ^ "Boost phase interceptor". Press Releases. Raytheon. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b "About Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM)". NASA. 2014. Archived from the original on 2013-04-24.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  6. ^ "Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM)". Ball Aerospace. 2014. Archived from the original on 2013-04-24. 
  7. ^ a b Casey, Tina (19 July 2013). "NASA Sets Its Sights On $45 Million Green Fuel Mission". Clean Technica.