Aqueous silicon dispersions are used to produce pyrotechnic time delay compositions. The propensity of silicon to react with water and to produce hazardous hydrogen gas must be suppressed. To this end, the effect of air heat treatment temperature on the rate of corrosion of silicon was investigated. It was found that four hour heat treatments at temperatures below 350 °C provided significant passivation. This is attributed to the removal of the hydroxyl groups present on the SiO2 surface scale layer. It was found that thickening the silica layer, by heat treatment at higher temperatures, causes a further reduction in the amount of hydrogen released. However, differential thermal analysis (DTA) studies showed that excessive silicon surface oxidation increased the ignition temperature and reduced the heat release of a near-stoichiometric silicon-lead chromate pyrotechnic composition.