JOURNAL ARTICLE

A decontamination system for chemical weapons agents using a liquid solution on a solid sorbent

Daniel Waysbort, David J McGarvey, William R Creasy, Kevin M Morrissey, David M Hendrickson, H Dupont Durst
Journal of Hazardous Materials 2009 January 30, 161 (2): 1114-21
18524476
A decontamination system for chemical warfare agents was developed and tested that combines a liquid decontamination reagent solution with solid sorbent particles. The components have fewer safety and environmental concerns than traditional chlorine bleach-based products or highly caustic solutions. The liquid solution, based on Decon Greentrade mark, has hydrogen peroxide and a carbonate buffer as active ingredients. The best solid sorbents were found to be a copolymer of ethylene glycol dimethacrylate and n-lauryl methacrylate (Polytrap 6603 Adsorber); or an allyl methacrylate cross-linked polymer (Poly-Pore E200 Adsorber). These solids are human and environmentally friendly and are commonly used in cosmetics. The decontaminant system was tested for reactivity with pinacolyl methylphosphonofluoridate (Soman, GD), bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide (Mustard, HD), and S-(2-diisopropylaminoethyl) O-ethyl methylphosphonothioate (VX) by using NMR Spectroscopy. Molybdate ion (MoO(4)(-2)) was added to the decontaminant to catalyze the oxidation of HD. The molybdate ion provided a color change from pink to white when the oxidizing capacity of the system was exhausted. The decontaminant was effective for ratios of agent to decontaminant of up to 1:50 for VX (t(1/2) < or = 4 min), 1:10 for HD (t(1/2) < 2 min with molybdate), and 1:10 for GD (t(1/2) < 2 min). The vapor concentrations of GD above the dry sorbent and the sorbent with decontamination solution were measured to show that the sorbent decreased the vapor concentration of GD. The E200 sorbent had the additional advantage of absorbing aqueous decontamination solution without the addition of an organic co-solvent such as isopropanol, but the rate depended strongly on mixing for HD.

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