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New 'Scrubber' Speeds Removal Of Powerful Anthrax Clean-up Agent

Date:
July 15, 2008
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Researchers are reporting the discovery of a fast, efficient method for removing a powerful pesticide used to sterilize buildings and equipment following anthrax attacks. Their chemical "scrubber" removes 99 percent of the pesticide following fumigation and could pave the way for its broader use in anthrax clean-up efforts, the scientists say. 

Researchers in New Jersey report discovery of a fast, efficient method for removing a powerful pesticide used to sterilize buildings and equipment following anthrax attacks. Their chemical "scrubber" removes 99 percent of the pesticide following fumigation and could pave the way for its broader use in anthrax clean-up efforts, the scientists say. 

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In the new study, Roman Bielski and Peter J. Joyce note that the commonly used pesticide, methyl bromide, is superior to chlorine dioxide for destroying anthrax-causing bacteria and their spores. However, it is highly toxic to humans and may harm the environment by destroying the ozone layer. Researchers thus have sought an efficient method for removing this promising anthrax decontamination agent.

Bielski and Joyce documented the effectiveness of their removal method in experiments with an empty office trailer filled with air containing methyl bromide. They treated air exhausted from the trailer with a solution of sodium sulfide combined with a powerful catalyst.

This chemical "scrubber" removed more than 99 percent of the methyl bromide from the air.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bielski et al. The Use of Methyltricaprylylammonium Chloride as a Phase Transfer Catalyst for the Destruction of Methyl Bromide in Air Streams. Organic Process Research & Development, 2008; 0 (0): 0 DOI: 10.1021/op800016j

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "New 'Scrubber' Speeds Removal Of Powerful Anthrax Clean-up Agent." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080714094453.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2008, July 15). New 'Scrubber' Speeds Removal Of Powerful Anthrax Clean-up Agent. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080714094453.htm
American Chemical Society. "New 'Scrubber' Speeds Removal Of Powerful Anthrax Clean-up Agent." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080714094453.htm (accessed March 29, 2015).

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