Thermal decomposition of powdered ammonium perchlorate, catalysed by manganese dioxide (MnO2), has been studied in the low concentration ranges of the catalyst. MnO2 sensitises the thermal decomposition of ammonium perchlorate. The activation energy estimations of catalysed ammonium perchlorate show that the value is about 30 kcal/mol throughout the low and the high temperature regions whereas uncatalysed ammonium perchlorate gives two activation energies, 20 kcal/mol in the low temperature region (280–320°C) and 60 kcal/mol in the higher temperature region (350–390°C). This behaviour has been explained on the basis of an electron transfer process. The effectiveness of MnO2 in the thermal decomposition further increases on pre-heating the sample at 50°C for two weeks; manganese ions enter the ammonium perchlorate lattice during the process of pre-heating.