Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Military develops multi-purpose 'green' decontaminants for terrorist attack sites

Date:
April 29, 2010
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Chemists with the United States military have developed a set of ultra-strength cleaners that could be used in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. The new formulas are tough enough to get rid of nerve gas, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes, and anthrax. But they are also non-toxic, based on ingredients found in foods, cosmetics, and other consumer products.

Chemists have developed ultra-strength cleaners that could be used in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, and that are also non-toxic, based on ingredients found in foods, cosmetics, and other consumer products.
Credit: iStockphoto/Nancy Louie

Chemists with the United States military have developed a set of ultra-strength cleaners that could be used in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. The new formulas are tough enough to get rid of nerve gas, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes, and anthrax. But they are also non-toxic, based on ingredients found in foods, cosmetics, and other consumer products.

A detailed evaluation of the cleansers appears in ACS' Industrial Engineering and Chemistry Research, a bi-monthly journal.

George Wagner and colleagues explained that chlorine- and lye-based decontamination agents have serious drawbacks. In addition to being potentially hazardous, they can react with chemical weapons and materials in the environment to form new toxic substances. If the military needed to decontaminate a large area, the runoff could harm people and the environment. To solve that problem, military scientists developed the Decon Green suite of decontamination agents.

The main ingredients in each Decon Green formula are peroxides, the same substances that are in many household cleaners and whitening toothpaste. To bolster their effectiveness, the peroxides are mixed with bicarbonates or other non-toxic bases. That combination produces peroxyanions, highly reactive ions that can clean just about anything. It ensures that chemical weapons, like nerve gas, will break down completely.

Wagner describes putting the new cleaning agents through an exhaustive battery of tests. His team concluded that each formula can break down toxic chemicals, rather than just washing them away. They also showed that Decon Green is quite good at killing anthrax spores, and removing radioactive cesium and cobalt from smooth surfaces. One of the formulas that they tested can work in sub-zero temperatures. Another is a powder, which can be easily transported and mixed with water at the scene of an emergency. All but one of the ingredients in liquid Decon Green can be found in food, cosmetics, hygiene products, or vitamin pills.


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. George W. Wagner, Lawrence R. Procell, David C. Sorrick, Glenn E. Lawson, Claire M. Wells, Charles M. Reynolds, David B. Ringelberg, Karen L. Foley, Gregg J. Lumetta, David L. Blanchard. All-Weather Hydrogen Peroxide-Based Decontamination of CBRN Contaminants. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 2010; 49 (7): 3099 DOI: 10.1021/ie9019177

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Military develops multi-purpose 'green' decontaminants for terrorist attack sites." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100428121447.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2010, April 29). Military develops multi-purpose 'green' decontaminants for terrorist attack sites. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100428121447.htm
American Chemical Society. "Military develops multi-purpose 'green' decontaminants for terrorist attack sites." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100428121447.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple's new operating system, iOS 8, comes with Apple's killswitch feature already activated, unlike all the models before it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins