Searching for ozone layer circa 1957 I got Theoretical Rocket Performance of JP-4 Fuel with Mixtures of Liquid Ozone and Fluorine, NACA RM E56K14, Issue 58, Volume 63, Vearl N. Huff, Sanford Gordon. Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory, National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, Cleveland, Ohio, November 26, 1956.

From what I can understand, the paper takes measured data for oxidizer mixtures of LOX + fluorine and uses math/physics/chemistry to estimate the effect of swapping in liquid ozone for liquid oxygen.

Question: Did anybody every try this? Was liquid ozone + fluorine ever tested as an oxidizer? Ever with jet fuel? How did it go?


Theoretical rocket performance was calculated for JP-4 fuel with mixtures of ozone and fluorine. The data were estimated by means of a heat-correction equation using data for JP-4 fuel with mixtures of oxygen and fluorine. The estimated values were checked with several direct calculations. The estimated data were based on equilibrium composition during expansion, while the directly computed data were obtained for both equilibrium and frozen compositions during expansion.

The maximum value of specific impulse was 334.9 pound-seconds per pound for a combustion chamber pressure of 600 pounds per square inch absolute and an exit pressure of 1 atmosphere.

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    $\begingroup$ i very much doubt it ozone couldn’t even be used by itself because it’d spontaneously decompose and that’s without something as reactive as fluorine $\endgroup$
    – R. Hall
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 0:47
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    $\begingroup$ @ReubenFarley-Hall what is the rate of spontaneous decomposition of cryogenic liquid ozone? (mp 80 K, bp 160 K) $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 0:52
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    $\begingroup$ @ReubenFarley-Hall I do see what you mean though. From Ignition! via Scott Manley: …other workers are convinced that it’s just the nature of ozone to explode, and still others are sure that original sin has something to do with it. Still, since there is so much lore about it being such a dangerous oxidizer, there must have necessarily been some testing activity early on. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 1:04
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    $\begingroup$ The informations related to ozone properties are scary. But from what i could see from online videos it can be handled in high concentrations. Actually some materials burn less vigorously in ozone than in diatomic oxygen which is quite surprising. I believe that in small scale ozone & fluorine mixtures could be tested with proper safety measures. But is it worth trying. I dont think so. $\endgroup$
    – WOW 6EQUJ5
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 1:09
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    $\begingroup$ @ReubenFarley-Hall You might still go with a tripropellant setup, not mixing the two before combustion. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 6:59

1 Answer 1


A not up to date answer but in 1972 J Clark in Ignition writes that cryogenic Oxygen+Ozone was investigated and found to be relatively stable* before use but having some exciting properties for any leftovers in pipes or tankage at end of run due to preferential evaporation of the Oxygen concentrating Ozone until it decomposed explosively. This could be stabilised with 9% Fluorine with the statement that nobody knew why. This would be an Oxygen/Ozone/Fluorine mix.

He further states that in 1961 A.J. Gaynor of Armour investigated 30% ozone/70%Fluorine as ideal for RP1 but gains over Fluorine/Oxygen was not that great and he was not aware (writing at an unknown point before the 1972 publication date) of any work taken to the point of firing a motor due to the increased risk.

*stable as in 'did not explosively decompose on mixing'

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    $\begingroup$ +1 for "exciting properties" :) $\endgroup$ Commented May 14, 2021 at 14:25
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    $\begingroup$ Absolutely delighted by the idea of "this is dangerously explosive, let's add some fluorine to it to see if that makes it more stable?" $\endgroup$ Commented May 14, 2021 at 19:09

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