than water. The water would merely block the interstitial passages in the carbon granules, preventing further gas adsorption. It would not likely block the bulk gas flow through the much larger void spaces between the charcoal granules. Again, diverting the flow to a backup bed and water removal system would reduce this risk.
Provisions would normally be made for easy removal and replacement of individual charcoal beds. Under normal industrial circumstances, these would likely be thermally regenerated. However, beds that have been potentially contaminated with agent would likely be destroyed by incineration or sent to a hazardous waste landfill.
Careful and frequent monitoring of bed performance is clearly needed. This may require special techniques, such as periodic injection of a tracer material chosen for this purpose.
Choice of a specific charcoal type, operating temperature, gas velocity, and monitoring technique will require some further study and testing. However, major problems are not anticipated.
A charcoal system is believed to be superior to the storage and release system described in the report Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions (NRC, 1993a), since the use of charcoal would reduce toxics to a level below that of the current baseline pollution abatement system.