COLUMBIA, Mo. -- In response to the immediate threats of bio-terrorist attacks, University of Missouri-Columbia College of Engineering researchers Randy Curry and Kenneth McDonald have developed a process that rapidly kills a wide range of microbes on any surface, including anthrax spores and viruses.
The MU decontamination solution, which is suitable for virtually any surface material, is applied by foam, spray, mist, fog, or steam and kills most microbes within a few minutes of exposure. Moreover, the properties can be enhanced by ultraviolet light interaction, reducing the decontamination time to a few seconds. The MU researchers' process works on dense spore clusters such as anthrax, and is not harmful to the environment.
Tests with anthrax spores have shown a complete destruction of the spores. The environmentally benign compound is inexpensive and can be sprayed using either foaming agents or soaps, or can be applied using ingredients that permit the fluid to uniformly coat all surfaces. When sprayed, the compound dries and does not require cleanup.
The compound can be made with commercial off-the-shelf chemicals, is inexpensive and easily available. The decontaminant is compatible with paper, carpet, linoleum, metal and other typical office or residential surfaces. Although developed for military defense applications the decontaminant is applicable to any civilian application including decontamination of buildings, post offices, ventilation ducts, carpet, clothes and electronic equipment. The decontaminant is compatible with firefighting foams.
The U.S. Marine Corp. and the United States Army Space and Missile Defense Command funded this research project.
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