Destroying bulk stores of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and organic precursors is a significant challenge for the international community. Today, for example, there are no approaches that exploit chemistries that are truly agnostic in terms of the agents that can be processed. In addition, current approaches require transport of agents from the storage site to a neutralization site. Ensuring safe transport of the agent can add significant cost and time to the process.
DARPA's Agnostic Compact Demilitarization of Chemical Agents (ACDC) program is exploring new technologies for neutralization of bulk stores of CWAs and organic precursors at or near the site of storage. ACDC is developing and demonstrating the technologies needed to construct a transportable, prototype system that converts organic compounds into constitutive carbon/nitrogen/phosphorous/sulfur oxides and stable alkali or alkaline earth metal salts, or another demonstrated safe form. A final ACDC system would feature chemistries for agent destruction and sequestration of halogens and other components using locally available resources. In addition the process would possess robust, in-line, multivariate analytical instrumentation to monitor and validate the system in real time, and process controls for full system automation and reprocessing of off-specification output.
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