Aerosol fire extinguishing technology is based on a pyrotechnic extinguishing charge. In the case of a fire, this extinguishing charge is ignited electrically, thermally or manually. The pyrotechnic extinguishing charge consisting of potassium nitrate and nitroguanidine reacts. The chemical reaction generates potassium carbonate, which flows through a cooling area along with the simultaneously generated reactive gases and then out of the openings at the base of the extinguisher, emerging into the environment as a fine aerosol.
The extinguishing effect of the aerosol and the potassium carbonate results from the combination of a physical and a chemical process. The ionisation in the flame withdraws energy from the combustion process. Free radicals in the flame are bound by the potassium carbonate, thereby interrupting the chain reaction. Consequently, the extinguishing principle is not based on the removal of the oxygen important for combustion or on cooling, as is the case with other fire extinguishers, but on the principle of interruption of the oxidation process at the molecular level.