JOURNAL ARTICLE

Decontamination of adsorbed chemical warfare agents on activated carbon using hydrogen peroxide solutions

Ruth Osovsky, Doron Kaplan, Ido Nir, Hadar Rotter, Shmuel Elisha, Ishay Columbus
Environmental Science & Technology 2014 September 16, 48 (18): 10912-8
25133545
Mild treatment with hydrogen peroxide solutions (3-30%) efficiently decomposes adsorbed chemical warfare agents (CWAs) on microporous activated carbons used in protective garments and air filters. Better than 95% decomposition of adsorbed sulfur mustard (HD), sarin, and VX was achieved at ambient temperatures within 1-24 h, depending on the H2O2 concentration. HD was oxidized to the nontoxic HD-sulfoxide. The nerve agents were perhydrolyzed to the respective nontoxic methylphosphonic acids. The relative rapidity of the oxidation and perhydrolysis under these conditions is attributed to the microenvironment of the micropores. Apparently, the reactions are favored due to basic sites on the carbon surface. Our findings suggest a potential environmentally friendly route for decontamination of adsorbed CWAs, using H2O2 without the need of cosolvents or activators.

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