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Environmental Friendly Fire Suppressants


Development of Novel Effective Fire Suppressants and Fire-Fighting Means Based on Solid Propellant Gas Generators

Tech Area / Field

  • CHE-THE/Physical and Theoretical Chemistry/Chemistry
  • ENV-APC/Air Pollution and Control/Environment

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Institute of Chemical Kinetics and Combustion, Russia, Novosibirsk reg., Novosibirsk

Supporting institutes

  • Institute of problems of chemical-energetic technologies Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia, Altay reg., Biysk


  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory / Chemistry and Material Science, USA, CA, Livermore\nUniversity of Michigan / College of Engineering / MichiganEngineering, USA, MI, Ann Arbor\nKIMM - Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials, Korea, Daejeon\nCornell University / College of Engineering, USA, NY, Ithaca\nHansung University, Korea, Seoul

Project summary

The goal of the project consists in developing of novel high-performance means for fire extinguishing basing on solid-propellant gas-generating compositions (SPGGC) and chemically active fire suppressants. These facilities in which SPGGC and fire suppressants are placed in the separate compartments are usually called hybrid fire extinguishers. In such devices SPGGC combustion products are used simultaneously as inert extinguishing component, for extruding of chemically active fire suppressant and delivering it to the fire source. The problem of effective fire extinguishing in emergence conditions, which mortal danger threaten and destructive for expensive equipment, is always relevant. Earlier halons were widely used as fire suppressants. However they were shown to deplete atmospheric ozone. After signing Montreal Protocol in 1987, which banned production of halons, a search and testing and versatile study of novel fire suppressants – halon alternatives. Following groups of the most perspective compounds were studied: organophosphorus compounds (OPCs), ozone-friendly halons including C2F5H, CF3I, etc., perfluorinated ketones, metal-containing compounds and salts of alkali metals. At this moment a number of SPGGC based on tetrazol polymers and producing a large amount of nitrogen are developed. Following compounds were proposed as active fire suppressants for hybrid extinguishers: KBr, KI, K2CO3, potassium acetate, Fe2O3; ferrocene, iron oxalate, CF3I, HFC-227, pentabromophenyl ether. However there is no information on application of other fire suppressants including fluorinated OPCs in hybrid extinguishers.

In the case of successful implementation of the research program, new-generation ecologically safety extinguishing compositions based on mixtures of active and inert suppressants that exceed in the effectiveness known compositions will be found and tested. The results of the research will not only develop novel effective fire suppressants but will make it possible to understand the mechanism of their action on the molecular level that in its turn will allow to develop the scientific base for fire fighting using chemically active fire suppressants.

The research program of the project will be carried out by a team of well-qualified researchers, which to a large extent consists of weapon scientific personnel. The personnel include Dr. of Sciences and Ph.D. who are specialists in chemistry, physics, materials science and fire extinguishing. The efforts of scientific and technical weapon personnel are 209 person-days that is 35% of all efforts of the project.

The participants from Institute of Chemical Kinetics and Combustion SB RAS have a large experience in studying the mechanism for flame inhibition and suppressing as well as in a search of novel fire suppressants. The scientific adviser of the project Professor O.P.Korobeinichev is well known specialist in the field of combustion of gaseous and energetic materials systems, the author of many scientific publications in this field. The ICKC team will also include collaborators from All-Russian Scientific Research Institute for Fire Protection (VNIIPO), which is known to be the largest world-known center on scientific research in the area of fire safety, development and practical application of means for fire fighting. Besides, the ICKC team will be completed with Professor A.D.Rychkov (Institute of Computational Technologies SB RAS) who is well-known reputed specialist in numerical modeling of gas-dynamic processes and have an experience in simulating and developing of solid-propellant gas generators.

The participants from Institute for Problems of Chemical and Energetic Technologies SB RAS have an experience in elaborating of fire-fighting means based on blowout of a fire-extinguishing powder by low-temperature combustion products of the SPGGC. The project participants from IPCET Professors V.F. Komarov, V.A. Shandakov and others developed a method of obtaining of cool pure nitrogen based on self-propagating linear pyrolysis of SPGGC. Basing on this mechanism, the means for flame suppression producing pure nitrogen and means for blowing out fire-extinguishing powders were elaborated.

During accomplishing the research program of the project, following new fundamental and practical scientific results will be obtained:

  1. Effective chemically active fire suppressants and fire-extinguishing compositions on their basis will be found. Their characteristics (such as effectiveness, toxicity, ozone depletion potential, effect on climate of the Earth, etc.) will be determined. The results obtained will allow studying the mechanism for the action of the suppressants and to develop the scientific basic foundations of fire fighting using chemically active extinguishing agents.
  2. The effective solid-propellant gas-generating compositions (SPGGC) will be developed that will make it possible to elaborate hybrid fire extinguishers.
  3. The formation and propagation of fine-dispersed particles of a fire suppressant generated by the designed extinguisher will be simulated numerically. It will make possible to predict the effectiveness of delivering of the fire suppressant to fire source.

The proposed research program will help to redirect the activity of weapon researchers, engineers and technicians to solution of the global problem of effective fire extinguishing, which is connected with a problem of reducing the harmful emission polluting the atmosphere and depleting the atmospheric ozone. International communication in frames of the project will allow to cultivate the collaboration between the project participants and scientists other countries participating in the project.

To achieve the goals of the project, it is necessary:

  1. Using laboratory experimental tests o find effective fire suppressants and the compositions on their base, which meet the given requirements.
  2. To elaborate, design and operate tests of SPGGC.
  3. To develop, design and test the hybrid extinguishers of 2 types in which SPGGC and active fire suppressants will used.
  4. To study numerically the process of formation and propagation of a cloud of fine-dispersed particles of fire suppressant in order to evaluate the effectiveness of its delivery to the fire source.
  5. To operate large-scale tests of the extinguisher on extinguishing (1) local source of fire and (2) the fire in isolated compartment.
  6. To certify the prototypes of the extinguishers for correspondence to the requirements of the fire engineering.

Role of foreign collaborators in the project will consists in consultations and assistance in analysis of the results of testing of fire suppressants and SPGGC; consultations and recommendations on practical application of the results obtained, fire suppressants, SPGGC and fire-fighting means; participation in joint commercial use of the results obtained.

For determination of the effectiveness of novel fire suppressants, two basic methods – "cylinder" and cup burner – will be used which make it possible to determine the minimal extinguishing concentration of fire suppressants. The "cylinder" method is based on introducing a model flame source into immobile air atmosphere containing a fire suppressant, which corresponds to the situation of fire fighting in a isolated compartment. This makes it different from the cup burner technique where the flame is blown by the flow of air and of fire suppressant vapors, which simulates the situation of fire fighting on moving transport, forest fires, and out-of-door fires. In this way, the two mentioned methods supplement each other.

For tests of solid propellant gas generating compositions three methods - laboratory – LCFET, modernized cup-burner (for gas generating compositions) and also midscale bench test (TARPF) will be used. The LCFET method is based on introducing a model flame source into the chamber with a mixture of air and combustion products of solid propellant gas generator that corresponds to the situation of fire fighting in compartment. The modernized cup burner method is based on measurement of minimal mass of gas generator compositions at extinguishing of liquid hydrocarbons flame. The modernization of a method consists in that the extinguishing of the modeling flame burner occurs at introduction of gas generator composition combustion products in airflow. This process simulates a situation of fire fighting on moving vehicle and out-of-door fires. Varying length of samples of gas generator compositions, one can change time of influence fire suppressants to a flame. Varying diameter or length of a SPGGC specimen one can change concentration of the suppressants in airflow or time of action of fire suppressants. For determination of the effectiveness of a hybrid extinguisher with an impulse injection of fire suppressants into combustion products of a GGC when extinguishing a renewable source of turbulent flame, the TARPF apparatus will be used. This method simulates the use of SPGG fire extinguishers for suppressing a fire in engine nacelle. The application of fine-dispersed aerosols of fire suppressants with particle size of 1-10 m and less for fire extinguishing is of great importance. At this moment a generating of aerosols of such dispersity for fire-extinguishing means is a difficult task. This problem will be solved using the generators of superfine aerosol and SPGG. The effectiveness of HFE of type II will be assessed using the “cylinder” method but with volume of the test chamber of 10 m3.

The toxicity of fire suppressants and of the products formed during their use for fire fighting (LD50, LC50 etc.) will be determined by means of experiments on laboratory animals. The ozone depletion potential will be estimated using the well-known semiempirical method of Solomon et al.


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