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Surface decontamination of simulated chemical warfare agents using a nonequilibrium plasma with off-gas monitoring

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6 Author(s)

InnovaTek, Inc., Richland, WA, is developing a surface decontamination technology that utilizes active species generated in a nonequilibrium corona plasma. The plasma technology was tested against dimethyl-methyl phosphonate (DMMP), a simulant for the chemical agent Sarin. Gas chromatograph mass spectrometry analysis showed that a greater than four log10 destruction of the DMMP on an aluminum surface was achieved in a 10-min treatment. An ion-trap mass spectrometer was utilized to collect time-resolved data on the treatment off-gases. These data indicate that only nontoxic fragments of the broken down DMMP molecule were present in the gas phase. The technology is being further refined to develop a product that will not only decontaminate surfaces but that will also sense when decontamination is complete.

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 4 )