Events & Seminars > Event Details


Room 403, Physical Life Sciences Building

Lighting the future with boron carbides: A new approach to green chemistry – Dr. Jesse J. Sabatini


Dr. Jesse J. Sabatini
US Army, Pyrotechnics Division, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ

Hosted by: Professor James Marshall

Abstract:  As the “center of mass” for all Department of Defense-related research, the US Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Command (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal has been the leader in carrying out an abundance of projects in the field of energetic materials.  Over the past decade, increasing environmental regulations have called into question many of the pyrotechnic munitions currently used by the US military.  The environmental regulations have greatly restricted and/or prohibited military personnel from training with or using many pyrotechnic munitions on the battlefield.  This includes battlefield illuminants, incendiary munitions, smoke grenades and smoke signaling devices.


Discussed will be the development of a new generation of “green” pyrotechnics to mitigate the environmental concerns for the aforementioned military items of interest and mitigation of single point failure to ensure that critical pyrotechnic munitions remain in the military’s arsenal.  The developed pyrotechnic formulations were found to offer superior performance compared to the in-service munitions, and many of these formulations have also garnered interest from the civil fireworks community.  The chemistry involved in achieving optimal pyrotechnic performance will be discussed in detail. Video footage of the developed pyrotechnic formulations will be provided at the conclusion of the seminar.  Several examples of how our pyrotechnic munitions developed at ARDEC have been used successfully during combat situations will also be discussed.

Bio:  Dr. Jesse J. Sabatini received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 2007 from the University of Virginia under the direction of Professor James A. Marshall.  After a year as a postdoctoral research associate in the laboratories of Professor Dennis P. Curran at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Sabatini took a position with the US Army in the Pyrotechnics Technology and Prototyping Division at the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Command (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal.  His current research interests lie in novel formulation development for battlefield illuminants (visible light and infrared), smoke munitions, incendiary compositions and pyrotechnic delay fuzes. 

Since joining the Pyrotechnics Division at Picatinny Arsenal, Dr. Sabatini has regularly served as a peer-reviewer of manuscripts submitted to the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Corrosion Science, and Zeitschrift für Anorganische und Allgemeine Chemie (ZAAC), is the primary author of five peer-reviewed publications, and has six patents pending with the US Patent Trademark Office. His work in the area of battlefield illuminants has been cited in press releases by Nature, the American Chemical Society, and the United Kingdom’s Royal Society of Chemistry.  Dr. Sabatini has delivered six invited lectures on pyrotechnics, has been named to the Technical Steering Committee for the upcoming International Pyrotechnics Symposium and has been invited to speak at upcoming Gordon Conference on Energetic Materials.  Dr. Sabatini has been invited to author a chapter on “green” pyrotechnics for the book “Green Energetic Materials,” to be released in early 2013.