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Elimination of toxic materials

Contact person: Jiří Henych

Inactivation of warfare materials

Powdered materials for quick inactivation of chemical warfare

ÚACH had developed unique methods for preparing powdered nanostructure oxides of some metals that quickly and effectively bind organophosphorous neural paralysing poisons (e.g. Sarin, Soman, VX and organophosphorous pesticides) to their surfaces and then chemically inactivate them; this also works with other toxic materials, such as e.g. yperite.

The basic research of these materials at ÚACH began after year 2000. During the following ten years we have prepared many new nanostructure adsorbents based on transition metal oxides and have developed methods for preparation in laboratory scale. Intensive testing of their degradation action then followed in relation to their physical and chemical properties. In the past five years we have selected several of the most effective adsorbents for which we designed and tested methods of preparation in increased scale (hundreds of grams to kilograms of the product) and verified their action. At the moment we are testing and comparing these sorbents with the available commercial materials that are used as means of protection by the military all over the world.

These materials are currently prepared at ÚACH; the used methods and procedures of preparation are a part of registered know-how of our institute.

The research is based on collaboration between ÚACH and Military Research Institute Brno, State enterprise (VVÚ). Materials prepared at ÚACH are tested at VVÚ by means of developed methodology that meets the criteria for testing the efficiency of breaking down real chemical warfare (Soman, VX, Yperite). Other institutes collaborating in the research of adsorbents include the University of Uppsala (Sweden) and J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem. This specifically involves the research and development of entirely new adsorbents, study of degradation mechanisms, and the possibility of their use also in the civilian sector (decomposition of pesticides and other toxic substances).

The preliminary results of the adsorbents comparison show that the efficiency of the materials prepared by us is higher than that of the commercially available ones. This comparison was carried out under the “SMART-DECON” project in which ÚACH supplied the materials for testing upon a contract for work between ÚACH and VVÚ. We expect further interest of VVÚ and the Ministry of Defence in these results. Another purpose of this defence-themed research should be further increasing of the production scale by ÚACH to pilot and semi-industrial conditions while retaining high efficiency of the degradation. After this phase (approximately in 2 – 5 years) it will be possible to launch industrial application of the result based on a license agreement.