3
U.S. and Foreign Experience with Chemical Weapons Destruction

This chapter briefly reviews U.S. and foreign experience with the destruction of chemical weapons in Canada, Germany, Iraq, the former Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and United States. Such information provides one basis for the committee's analysis of alternative demilitarization technologies.

U.S. CHEMICAL DEMILITARIZATION EXPERIENCE

In 1969, a National Academy of Sciences report concluded that dumping at sea of chemical warfare agents or munitions should be avoided (NAS, 1969). Three years later, the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1992 (P.L. 92-532) prohibited ocean dumping of chemical agents. Since 1969, the United States has disposed of over 7,000 tons of chemical warfare agents by incineration and chemical neutralization (Tables 3-1 to 3-7). Early work was carried out at Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Denver, Colorado, with the incineration of nearly 3,100 tons of H (mustard) in a furnace that had been used to burn the rocket fuel hydrazine. Flue gases were scrubbed with alkali (NaOH) to trap acidic combustion products and then passed through an electrostatic precipitator to remove particulates, such as rust.

Between 1973 and 1976, nearly 4,200 tons of GB (Satin) were destroyed by reaction with alkali (neutralization) mainly at Rocky Mountain Arsenal but partly in developmental work at Tooele Army Depot (TEAD) in Utah, at the Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System (CAMDS) facility. Problems were encountered at both sites, leading the Army to decide against neutralization as a major chemical demilitarization process: ''the rationale for abandoning neutralization was based on a number of factors: (1) the sheer complexity of the process (as compared to incineration...)..., (2) the quantity and nature of the waste that was produced, and (3) the high capital...and operating costs'' (Flamm et al., 1987). A perplexing but frequently observed and disconcerting feature of the tests was that even when presumed large excesses of alkali were



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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions 3 U.S. and Foreign Experience with Chemical Weapons Destruction This chapter briefly reviews U.S. and foreign experience with the destruction of chemical weapons in Canada, Germany, Iraq, the former Soviet Union, United Kingdom, and United States. Such information provides one basis for the committee's analysis of alternative demilitarization technologies. U.S. CHEMICAL DEMILITARIZATION EXPERIENCE In 1969, a National Academy of Sciences report concluded that dumping at sea of chemical warfare agents or munitions should be avoided (NAS, 1969). Three years later, the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1992 (P.L. 92-532) prohibited ocean dumping of chemical agents. Since 1969, the United States has disposed of over 7,000 tons of chemical warfare agents by incineration and chemical neutralization (Tables 3-1 to 3-7). Early work was carried out at Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Denver, Colorado, with the incineration of nearly 3,100 tons of H (mustard) in a furnace that had been used to burn the rocket fuel hydrazine. Flue gases were scrubbed with alkali (NaOH) to trap acidic combustion products and then passed through an electrostatic precipitator to remove particulates, such as rust. Between 1973 and 1976, nearly 4,200 tons of GB (Satin) were destroyed by reaction with alkali (neutralization) mainly at Rocky Mountain Arsenal but partly in developmental work at Tooele Army Depot (TEAD) in Utah, at the Chemical Agent Munitions Disposal System (CAMDS) facility. Problems were encountered at both sites, leading the Army to decide against neutralization as a major chemical demilitarization process: ''the rationale for abandoning neutralization was based on a number of factors: (1) the sheer complexity of the process (as compared to incineration...)..., (2) the quantity and nature of the waste that was produced, and (3) the high capital...and operating costs'' (Flamm et al., 1987). A perplexing but frequently observed and disconcerting feature of the tests was that even when presumed large excesses of alkali were

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-1 U.S. Army Experience with Destruction of H (Mustard) by Incineration Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Denver, Colo. Duration October 1969—July 1974 Amount 3,071 tons Form Bulk agent and minor components of filled munitions Process Agent burned in modified hydrazine furnace Metal parts Ton containers detoxified in ton container furnace Waste streams Furnace flue gases passed through scrubber and then electrostatic precipitator before stack discharge wastewater and scrubber brines were dried in spray dryer to salt, which was placed in a hazardous waste landfill meeting Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations Efficiency Data not available Monitoring Data not available Rate 2 gallons/minute (0.64 ton/hour), maximum Comments Early operations   Source: Flamm et al. (1987).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-2 U.S. Army Experience with Destruction of GB (Sarin) by Neutralization Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Denver, Colo.; CAMDS (TEAD, Utah) Duration October 1973—November 1976 Separation Munitions disassembled and liquid GB drained and stored in tank Amount 4,188 tons Form Bulk storage in tanks and filled munitions Process GB mixed with caustic (NaOH) solution in water; spontaneous reaction caused heat evolution Metal parts Drained munitions were rinsed with caustic, mechanically cut, and passed through incinerator furnace (those containing explosive put through a special deactivation furnace that could withstand explosions) Waste streams Neutralization and scrubber brines and wastewater from equipment washdown evaporated in spray or drum dryer to salt, which was placed in RCRA hazardous waste landfill; ventilation air and incinerator flue gases passed through scrubber Efficiency Apparently inadequate (analyses showed minute amounts of GB in the brines after supposed end of reaction. In addition, spray dryer emissqions contained trace quantities of agent in the early operating time; see comment below) Rate Data not available Comments Brine analysis indicated that GB destruction was not quite complete and that some reaction batches took weeks to arrive at zero GB assay; subsequent research suggests residual GB could have been an artifact of the method of assay   Source: Flamm et al. (1987).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-3 U.S. Army Experience with Destruction of GB (Sarin) by Incineration, at CAMDS Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site CAMDS (TEAD, UT) Duration April 1981—August 1986 Amount 38 tons Form Ton containers, drained projectiles and M55 rockets, and undrained 155-mm projectiles Process Agent pumped from tanks into a furnace (some into metal parts furnace, most into liquid incinerator) and burned Metal parts Drained projectiles and M55 rockets conveyed into metal parts furnace or deactivation furnace system and heated to about 890°C Waste streams Furnace flue gases passed through scrubber and then demister; stack discharge wastewater and scrubber brines dried in a drum dryer to salt, which was placed in landfill Efficiency >99.9999995% Monitoring <0.00006 mg/m3 Rate 500 lbs (0.25 ton) per hour, maximum Comments Testing of CAMDS system   Source: Flamm et al. (1987).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-4 U.S. Army Experience with Destruction of GB (Sarin) by Incineration, at JACADS Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site JACADS (Johnston Island) Duration October 31-November 14, 1991 Amount 40 tons Form M55 rockets Process Rockets are disassembled, agent drained and incinerated Metal parts Deactivated in metal parts furnace Waste streams Furnace flue gases passed through quench, venturi, scrubber, and then demister, stack discharge wastewater and pollution abatement system brines disposed of through two mechanisms: deep-well injection and drying in a drum dryer to salt, which was placed in landfill Efficiency >99.99999% Monitoring <0.00006 mg/m3. Continuous monitoring for GB, CO, O2, NOx, and SO2; intermittent monitoring for HCl, particulates, trace metals, volatile and semivolatile products of incomplete combustion, tetrachlorodibenzodioxins (TCDDs), tetrachlorodibenzofurans (TCDFs), and total hydrocarbons Rate 750 lbs (0.38 ton) per hour Comments Destruction during Operation Verification Test (OVT) One   Source: Baronian and Wojciechowski (1992).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-5 U.S. Army Experience with Destruction of VX by Incineration, at CAMDS Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site CAMDS (TEAD, UT) Duration June—August, 1984 Amount 8 tons Form Ton containers Process VX drained from tanks, pumped into metal parts furnace system, and burned mainly with either fuel oil or liquified petroleum gas Metal parts Data not available Waste streams Furnace flue gases passed through scrubber and then demister; stack discharge wastewater and scrubber brines dried in a drum dryer to salt, which was placed in landfill Efficiency >99.9999998% Monitoring <0.003 mg/m3. Continuous monitoring for VX, CO, O2, NOx, SO2, and CO2; intermittent monitoring for HCl, particulates, trace metals, volatile and semivolatile products of incomplete combustion Rate 400 lbs (0.2 ton) per hour Comments Same methods used as for incineration of GB   Source: Flamm et al. (1987).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-6 U.S. Army Experience with Destruction of VX by Incineration, at JACADS Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site JACADS (Johnston Island) Duration October 31-March 5, 1992 Amount 54 tons Form M55 rockets Process Rockets disassembled, agent drained and incinerated Metal parts Deactivated in metal parts furnace Waste streams Furnace flue gases passed through pollution abatement system quench, venturi, scrubber, and then demister; stack discharge wastewater and brines disposed of through two mechanisms: deep-well injection and drying in a drum dryer to salt, which was placed in a landfill Efficiency 99.999999% Monitoring <0.00006 mg/m3. Continuous monitoring for VX, CO, O2, NOx, and SO2; intermittent monitoring for HCl, particulates, trace metals, volatile and semivolatile products of incomplete combustion, TCDDs, TCDFs, and total hydrocarbon Rate 30.2 rockets (containing a total of 0.15 ton of agent) per hour, during up time; feed rate to the liquid incinerator was 699 lbs per hour Comments Destruction during OVT Two   Source: Wojciechowski (1992).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-7 U.S. Army Experience with Destruction of HD by Incineration, at JACADS Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site JACADS (Johnston Island) Duration August 3-September 5, 1992 Amount 56.5 tons Form Ton containers Process Ton containers are drained and agent incinerated Metal parts Deactivated in metal parts furnace Waste streams Furnace flue gases passed through quench, venturi, scrubber, and then demister, stack discharge wastewater and pollution abatement brines dried in drum dryers to salt, which was placed in a landfill Efficiency >99.99995% Monitoring <0.008 mg/m3 Rate 1,076 lbs an hour Comments Destruction during OVT Three   Source: Evans (1993).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions used, and reaction times were as long as weeks, traces of GB remained. However, subsequent research has suggested that this result was probably an artifact of the analytical method used (Beaudry et al., 1992). The large amount of waste that resulted from the tests (predominantly salts from evaporation of the neutralization product solutions that were buried in landfill) was due in part to the use of large quantifies of alkali in attempting to attain complete GB destruction. In the early 1980s, small amounts of GB (38 tons) and VX (8 tons) were destroyed by incineration at the CAMDS facility. Recently, similar amounts of GB (40 tons) and VX (54 tons) were destroyed by incineration at the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS) facility during Operational Verification Testing (OVT) campaigns (tests) One and Two (for further discussion see Chapter 1). The main purpose of these campaigns was to observe and debug the moderately complex JACADS operations. Numerous problems were encountered during these tests, as often occurs in initial operation of a new chemical plant. Some problems related to the Army' s demanding standards for low agent concentration in the air within the buildings and the high sensitivity of the agent detection meters. Destruction of H, GB, and VX by incineration has, however, been demonstrated to be technically feasible. CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENT DESTRUCTION IN OTHER COUNTRIES Other countries have experience with destruction of chemical warfare agents of the types held by the United States by technologies of current interest. The basic technologies used, chemical neutralization and controlled incineration, have also been used in the United States. Nevertheless, the experience of others with variations on the basic technologies may prove valuable regarding alternative methods to destroy the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile. Such foreign experience is summarized in Tables 3-8 to 3-18. Among destruction methods used in other countries, the two of greatest interest are variations on the method of chemical neutralization: reaction with alkali in an alcohol, as used in Canada for neutralization of small quantities of GB and VX (Table 3-10); and reaction with ethanolamine, as used in the former Soviet Union for neutralization of GB and perhaps mustard (Table 3-12).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-8 Canadian Experience with Mustard Agent Destruction (1974 to 1976) Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site Defence Research Establishment Suffield (DRES) Amount About 700 tons Form Bulk agent Separation Pumped from lead-lined vats into steel hydrolysis tank Neutralization Hydrolyze g-ton batches by adding lime. Reaction conducted with agitation at 95°C, keeping pH above 10 (principal products are thiodiglycol and calcium salts) Incineration Batch-incinerated at 1085°C with caustic scrubbing using a liquid incinerator Effluents CO2, H2O, SO2, and calcium salts in flue discharge Efficiency Data not available Monitoring SO2 stack monitoring;, site monitoring for mustard carried out using liquid impinger (bubblers) Disposal Much of the hydrolysis products incinerated (some spread on prairie land for further degradation; sludge left in the reaction vats to be buried) Duration 3 years, completed October 1976; Incineration program, 10 months Rate 1400 gallons/day (incineration of hydrolyzate) Cost/ton $60/ton (incineration of hydrolyzate)   Source: Conference on Disarmament, CD/173, Geneva, April 3, 1981.

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-9 Canadian Experience with Mustard Destruction in 1990 to 1991 Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site Defence Research Establishment Suffield Experimental Proving Grounds Amount 12 tons, some thickened or aged Form About 3 tons bulk and 9 tons in munitions Separation Preheated and drained bulk containers; batch-introduced agent into incinerator frozen, in polyethylene-lined cardboard boxes; froze and explosively punctured nonexplosive munitions with shaped charges and incinerated directly; froze and used shaped charges to cut off fuzes of explosive munitions and destroyed fuzes by ass detonation at remote site (freezing achieved by exposure to winter ambient air) Incineration Batch-incinerated at 900°C for about 30 minutes, then at 1200°C for 2 seconds; scrubbed flue gas with aqueous NaOH; passed scrubbed flue gas through 1-μm filter to remove particulate matter Effluents CO2 and H2O in discharged vapor, NaCl and Na2SO4 in scrubber brine, and spent filters Efficiency >99.99999% Monitoring Continuous stack monitoring for mustard, CO, HCl, SO2, NOx, hydrocarbons, and particulate matter, discontinuous for trace metals, TCDDs, and TCDFs; mobile laboratory used to monitor air quality for mustard, CO, HCl, NOx, SO2, and particulates on a continuous basis Disposal Scrubber brine discharged to impermeable lined pit and allowed to evaporate; resulting salts and spent filters placed in landfill; metal residues sold to commercial foundry and melted down Duration Winter of 1990-1991 Rate Incinerator capacity 1.5 tons/hour (actual rate kept down to 180 kg/hour to reduce particulate emissions) Cost/ton About $5,000 (Canadian) per ton of mustard, scrap metal, dunnage, and neutralized nerve agent solution (not including costs of field ,separation and packaging and public communications programs) and environmental monitoring programs Comments Also incinerated were 375 tons of contaminated shredded metal, 4 tons of dunnage packed in cardboard boxes, 4 tons of neutralized nerve agent solution (cardboard boxes caused excess particulate matter that necessitated use of filters and reduced processing rate; incinerated scrap metal melted in a foundry and recycled); high community participation, including membership on committee to write impact statement; project completed and incinerator removed   Source: McAndless (1992a,b).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-10 Canadian Experience with Nerve Agent Destruction Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site Defence Research Establishment Suffield, Willis Centre Complex Agent VX, GA, GB, and other G-type nerve agents Amount 0.3 tons Form Munitions without explosives Separation Munitions drilled and agents drained Neutralization Batch-neutralized in methanolic 20% KOH (1,500 L of neutralized solution) diluted with water to 3X total volume increase (4,500 L total) Incineration Incinerated together with mustard-contaminated scrap metal in transportable unit (see Table 3-9); scrubbed flue gas with aqueous NaOH Effluents CO2 and H2O in discharged vapor and potassium and sodium chloride, fluoride, nitrate and phosphate in scrubber brine Efficiency Neutralization >99.9999%; incineration >99.9999% Monitoring Batch analysis of neutralizing solution to verify destruction of nerve agent; continuous monitoring of incinerator emissions as in Table 3-9; particulate emissions (samples) analyzed for phosphorus content Disposal Scrubber brine discharged to impermeable lined pit and allowed to evaporate; resulting salts and spent falters placed in landfill Duration 4 months intermittent to complete neutralization; 5 days for incineration of neutralized solution (hydrolyzate) Rate 0.8 tons/day as hydrolysate incinerated together with mustard-contaminated scrap metal (Table 3-9) Cost/ton $30,000/ton (includes operating costs, equipment, and supplies) Comments See Table 3-9   Source: McAndless (1992a,b).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-11 erman Experience with Mustard Agent Destruction Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site Munster/Oertze Agent Mustard and thickened mustard containing arsenicals Amount About 70 metric tons/year total agent, ongoing program Form Old munitions and bulk containers Separation Cleaned with water jet, explosive ordinance demolition evaluation, transport, x-rayed, and cut, or drilled and drained; drained with steam injection if agent solidified; explosives and fuzes separated; intermediate storage of agent Incineration Batch-incinerated agent (hold at 300°C for 10-12 hours in inert gas atmosphere, then at 1000-1200°C for 2 seconds; empty munitions and containers kept about 12 hours at 1000°C); scrub flue gases with NaOH solution; precipitate arsenic in scrubber brine as ferric arsenate; pass flue gas through aerosol separator Effluents CO2 and H2O in discharged vapor, NaCl and Na2SO4 in scrubber brine, and ferric arsenate Efficiency Data not available Monitoring Continuous monitoring for HCl, SO2, hydrocarbons, and NOx; discontinuous monitoring for particulates and dioxins in vapor effluent and for sulfate and pH in scrubber brine Disposal Scrubber brine discharged into municipal waste water system; filtered arsenic sludge placed in old salt mine Duration Began 1980, continuing Rate About 70 metric tons/year, total agent; up to 350 kg/day Cost/ton DM 25,000 Comments Highly automated operation (except for loading and unloading furnace wagons); urban facility   Source: Conference on Disarmament, CD/CW/WP.374, Geneva, 1991; Martens (1992).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-12 Former Soviet Union Experience with Agent Destruction Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site Shikhany Proving Ground and others. Agent GB, GD, and mustard Amount About 300 tonnes (including VX, see Table 3-13) Form Munitions Separation Drilled and vacuum-evacuated Neutralization Batch-neutralized in ethanolamine at 100°C for 30-45 minutes with water or NaOH added to reduce viscosity Incineration Batch-incineration of neutralization reaction products without gas scrubbing Effluents CO2, HCl, NaF, NO2, POx, SO2, and sodium salts Efficiency Reportedly 99.99999% (nerve agent) Monitoring Ionization detectors (with sensitivity 10-2 to 10-3 rag/cubic meter) and laboratory analysis Rate Reactor capacity 600 L; average 1980-1990 rate was about 20 tonnes/year Cost/ton Data not available Comments Use of ethanolamine reportedly reduces slag buildup and fouling of burners and incinerator; apparatus is mobile (known as a KUASI system)   Source: Conference on Disarmament CD/CW/WP 367, Geneva, October 7, 1991; SFIL-CMT (1992); Manley (1992b).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-13 Former Soviet Union Experience with VX Destruction Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site Shikhany Proving Ground and others. Amount About 30 tonnes (including GB, GD, and mustard, see Table 3-12) Form Munitions Separation Munitions drilled and agent drained Neutralization Batch-neutralized with 1:1 mixture of ethylene glycol and phosphoric acid Incineration Batch-incineration of neutralization reaction products without gas scrubbing Effluents CO2, NO2, POx, and SO2 Efficiency Reportedly 99.99999% Monitoring Data not available Duration Data not available Rate Reactor capacity 600L; average 1980-1990 rate was about 20 tonnes/year Cost/ton Data not available Comments Mobile apparatus (known as the KUASI system)   Source: Conference on Disarmament CD/CW/WP.367, Geneva, October 7, 1991; SFIL-CMT (1992); Manley (1992b).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-14 U. K. Experience with Destruction of Mustard and World War I Gases Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site CBDE Porton, Wiltshire Amount Small, variable each year Form Old munitions from diverse sites (shells, grenades, mortars) Separation Overpacked, trucked, x-rayed, remotely cut, drilled and drained Incineration Batch-incinerated 2-3 seconds at 1200°C; quenched and then scrubbed flue gas with aqueous NaOH Efficiency >99.9999% Monitoring Analysis for CO, HCl, SO2, and trace organics in vapor', analysis for trace organics in brine Disposal After analysis transferred to effluent treatment plant of municipal sewer system Duration 20 years and continuing Rate Incineration capacity 1-2 tons/day Cost/ton Data not available Comments Incinerator used for other hazardous wastes   Source: Manley (1992a,b).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-15 U.K. Experience with GB Destruction Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site CDE Nancekuke, Cornwall Amount About 20 tons Form Bulk agent Separation Vacuum transfer from bulk tanks Neutralization Batch-neutralized with aqueous 20% NaOH; diluted with water to <200 ppm fluoride Effluents Sodium isopropyl methylphosphonate, NaOH and NaF; final volume increase of effluents 4-5X greater than volume of agent destroyed Efficiency >99.9999% Monitoring For each batch, measurement of pH, fluoride, acetylcholinesterase activity, and toxicity to brine shrimp before disposal Disposal Discharge at depth into coastal sea Duration 2 years, 1967-1968 Rate 250 kg/batch, 2-3 hours/cycle Cost/ton Data not available Comments Outside environmental review after completion; destruction carried out in converted GB production plant   Source: Manley (1992a, b).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-16 U. K. Experience with Mustard Destruction Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site Several sites within the United Kingdom Amount About 6,000 tons Form Bulk agent Separation Pumped from storage tanks Incineration Continuous, at well above 600°C; flue gas scrubbed with aqueous NaOH Effluents CO2 and H2O in discharged vapor, NaCl and Na2SO4 in scrubber brine Efficiency Not stated Monitoring Analysis for mustard Disposal Not stated Duration 1958-1960 Rate Data not available Cost/ton Not stated (pilot operation in 1956 estimated as 18 current pounds sterling per ton) Comments Data not available   Source: Toler (1990).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-17 U.N. Experience with Destruction of Mustard in Iraq Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site Al Muthanna Amount Estimated 400-500 tonnes with about 90% purity Form Bulk agent, aerial bombs, and 155-mm projectiles (some agent partly polymerized) Separation Vacuum-transferred from bulk storage tanks; munitions vacuumed drained through filling plugs or when necessary through holes creating by drilling or explosives charges Incineration Continuous, at 1100°C for 3-4 seconds; quenched and scrubbed flue gas with aqueous NaOH Effluents CO2, H2O, and SO2 in discharged vapor, NaCl and Na2SO4 in scrubber brine Efficiency Estimated >99.9999% Monitoring Continuous for CO, CO2, and O2 in flue gas, as indicators of combustion efficiency; continuous for pH of scrubber brine; discontinuous for mustard in flue gas and scrubber brine Disposal Scrubber brine discharged to pit containing limestone (to be covered after evaporation) Duration Estimated 9 months for incineration, 1992-1993 Rate 360 kg mustard/hour (maximum) Cost/ton Data not available Comments Same incinerator to be used to destroy other agents, probably including GA   Source: Barrass (1992).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions TABLE 3-18 U.N. Experience with Destruction of Nerve Agents in Iraq Destruction Method Characteristic Site Data Site Al Muthanna Agent GB and GB/GF mixture Amount Estimated 70 tonnes Form Bulk agent, aerial bombs, and ballistic missile warheads Separation Munitions vacuum-drained through filling plugs or through holes created by drilling explosive-shaped charges when necessary Neutralization Batch hydrolysis with excess aqueous NaOH in recirculating reactor Effluents Aqueous NaF and sodium salts of phosphonic acids with about 3% excess NaOH Efficiency <1 ppm Monitoring Continuous for temperature; continuous for reactor room ambient air for nerve agent; measurement of measurement of excess NaOH and analysis of each batch at end of reaction to verify agent level below detection limit of 1 ppm Disposal Spent reaction liquor discharged to impermeable lined pit (to be covered with concrete after evaporation) Duration Estimated six months for neutralization, 1992-1993. Rate One tonne/day Cost/ton Data not available Comments Data not available   Source: Barrass (1992).

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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions Both of these above neutralization methods are discussed in Chapter 6 . In both of the above cases, the products of the neutralization reaction were incinerated. Another neutralization process of possible interest for its destruction of VX is the reaction of VX with a mixture of ethylene glycol and phosphoric acid, reported for the former Soviet Union (Table 3-13). However, few details of this experience were readily available. In some of the cases reviewed, the amount of agent destroyed was comparable with or greater than that at small U.S. stockpile sites. In one U.K. case, the quantity of mustard destroyed was comparable with that at the largest U.S. site (Table 3-16). In France, a novel method for opening old chemical munitions has been developed: the projectile or mine is conveyed to the bottom of a deep pool rifled with a water-alcohol mixture containing NaOH, where it is cut open by a sand blast apparatus (Froment, 1993). Any lethal chemicals released are rapidly neutralized by the NaOH. However, the method is not suitable for disposing of large quantities of munitions and agent as is required for the disposal of the U.S. stockpile. SUMMARY Chemical neutralization methods followed by incineration have been used to achieve high levels of agent destruction. Different neutralization reactions have been successful primarily for GB, GD, and mustard agents (see Table 3-8). Incineration processes have generally been used to destroy mustard agent and are also being used to destroy VX and GB at JACADS.