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    New Recipes for Decontamination

    New Recipes for Decontamination

    Courtesy Photo | Starting challenge was 1 g/m^2, so approximately 2 mg. test conditions were 60 min...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Chemical and Biological Technologies Department

    An old adage says that a jack-of-all trades is master of none. Current decontamination methods utilize a one-size-fits-all approach, however due to chemical formulations, this shotgun approach may not achieve sterilization efficacy and toxicology requirements. Utilizing innovative chemistries and point-of-use (POU) approaches, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Chemical and Biological Technologies Department and Edgewood Chemical Biological Center is seeking to protect our warfighters from chemical exposure by developing new recipes for adjustable formulations.

    In recent years, programs focused on providing warfighters with universal approaches to counteract multiple chemical agents. However, different chemicals require various methods to neutralize them. For example, some agents are better neutralized with low pH levels and others with high pH levels. These variations make the universal-solution too generalized to optimally decontaminate any threat.

    The DTRA-ECBC approach enables warfighters to create adjustable formulations based on the agent’s properties and contaminated material. It includes optimizing media to extract agents from sorptive materials rapidly, investigating chemical agent neutralization options and optimizing surface decontamination performance. Researchers tested paints, coatings and tire rubber as material surfaces as they are common military materials that provide decontamination challenges.

    Recently the Defense Science Board (DSB) tested the POU approach to develop optimal recipes. The DSB also compared the effectiveness of the newly developed formulations with five conventional, one-size-fits-all versions. As shown in red on the chart on the previous page, the POU method outperformed baseline decontaminants on both Army and Navy military paint coatings. Further, these POU formulations demonstrated improved efficacy.

    With a limited number of ingredients and simplicity of recipes, this proof-of-concept demonstrated an easy-to-use warfighter solution. Additionally, POU decontamination requires less water by volume than universal approaches, reducing the logistical burden. The dual-use system can also be employed in daily operations for cleaning or sanitation, effectively putting the tool in the hands of the warfighter.

    Future efforts will leverage findings identified by the POU decontaminant project to tweak additional formulations. Today, this innovative, DTRA-funded research will allow warfighters to have state-of-the-art decontaminants with an enhanced ability to extract harmful chemical agents from military materials.



    Date Taken: 02.16.2018
    Date Posted: 02.16.2018 09:07
    Story ID: 266307
    Location: FORT BELVOIR, VA, US 

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