Boron-based composite energetic materials (B-CEMs): Preparation, combustion and applications

Wei Qiang Pang, Richard A. Yetter, Luigi T. DeLuca, Vladimir Zarko, Alon Gany, Xiao Hong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Metal fuels are attractive for solid/hybrid rocket propulsion and energy-conversion applications, because of their high energy densities. Boron powder (B), due to its high gravimetric (58.30 MJ·kg−1) and volumetric heats of combustion (136.44 kJ·cm−3), is ideally one of the most promising fuel candidates for fuel-rich solid propellant (SP). However, from an application perspective, amorphous B has drawbacks of high ignition temperatures and incomplete combustion, resulting in low energy-release rate and efficiency. Thus, there is growing interest in employing B-based composite energetic materials (B-CEMs) in SP, explosives, and pyrotechnics. The present work provides a comprehensive review of the advances made over the past few decades in the areas of preparation, combustion, and applications of B-CEMs. The preparation methods of various types of B-CEMs are introduced, and the physicochemical properties of B-CEMs are systematically discussed particularly with regards to achieving advantages over B and other metal powders in a broad range of applications. The ignition and combustion behavior of different energetic formulations with B-CEMs are reviewed. Finally, the existing problems and future challenges in our understanding of the field (prospects) are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101038
JournalProgress in Energy and Combustion Science
StatePublished - Nov 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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