A Non aqueous Formulation for Efficient Detoxification of Chemical Weapons at Sub zero Temperatures
An effective decontamination methodology based on nucleophilic non-aqueous decontaminant has been developed against chemical weapons sulfur mustard and soman. This new formulation consists of non-aqueous solution of 2-aminoethanol (60%, w/v), potassium hydroxide (2%, w/v), and N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (38 %, w/v) and detoxified more than 99 % of sulfur mustard and soman within a period of 30 min at -35 °C. It was found to be operable over a wide range of temperatures starting from -35 °C to +55 °C without losing its fluidity and detoxicant efficiency at sub-zero temperatures promising hassle-free application against chemical weapons. It degrades sulfur mustard to divinyl sulfide and 2-chloroethyl vinyl sulfide and converted soman into O-pinacolyl O’-(2-amino) ethyl methylphosphonate, which are relatively non toxic to humans. This formulation is environmentally benign, relatively non corrosive and has an improved capability to dissolve and decontaminate chemical weapons within 15 minutes at ambient conditions. This approach paves the way for efficient and rapid decontamination platform for chemical weapons and holds considerable promise for field application in near future.
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