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Fundamental Physical Science

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Showing 7 results for Fundamentals + CBRN RSS
Destroying chemical warfare agents in bulk is a challenge for the military and international community. Current methods of eradication, such as incineration or hydrolysis, create toxic waste that requires further processing. And the logistics required to transport large stockpiles from storage to a disposal site can be risky and expensive. Additionally, different types of chemicals require different methods to make them safe, so each agent requires a specific neutralization procedure – one size doesn’t fit all. To address these challenges, DARPA has announced the Agnostic Compact Demilitarization of Chemical Agents (ACDC) program and issued a Broad Agency Announcement solicitation today:
DARPA’s Agnostic Compact Demilitarization of Chemical Agents (ACDC) program recently awarded two contracts to develop prototypes of a transportable disposal system able to convert dangerous chemicals into safe output, such as harmless soil, using minimal consumables and creating no hazardous waste. If successful, the system could be used to safely destroy chemical warfare agent stockpiles on site without having to transport the highly toxic chemicals to a remote location for processing. The approaches could also ultimately find application in a variety of industrial chemical neutralization and clean-up efforts. The awardees are Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), San Antonio, Texas, and SRI International, Menlo Park, California.
Soldiers often operate in extreme environments, where they may be exposed to the elements for long periods of time. Standard equipment such as electronics and armor are designed to withstand such stresses, but that is not true for the contents of a medic’s bag. Most medicines, including essential biotherapeutics such as insulin, degrade rapidly when stored outside of specified temperature, humidity, and light conditions. DARPA’s Fold F(x) program aims to develop new classes of rugged, shelf-stable medicines based on non-natural, synthetic polymers that can better withstand extreme conditions in the field. The Agency will hold a workshop next week to describe recent successes and discuss applications with potential collaborators.
A DARPA program that is developing a field-deployable system for onsite neutralization of bulk stores of chemical warfare agents (CWA) has successfully demonstrated a novel waterless soil-scrubbing technology that safely neutralized toxic chemicals simulating sarin, soman, and mustard agents. Created under the Agency’s Agnostic Compact Demilitarization of Chemical Agents (ACDC) program, the technology demonstrated greater than 99.9999% removal of the simulants, without creating any hazardous waste by-products.
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.