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Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions

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Overview

Contributors

Description

The U.S. Army Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program was established with the goal of destroying the nation's stockpile of lethal unitary chemical weapons. Since 1990 the U.S. Army has been testing a baseline incineration technology on Johnston Island in the southern Pacific Ocean. Under the planned disposal program, this baseline technology will be imported in the mid to late 1990s to continental United States disposal facilities; construction will include eight stockpile storage sites.

In early 1992 the Committee on Alternative Chemical Demilitarization Technologies was formed by the National Research Council to investigate potential alternatives to the baseline technology. This book, the result of its investigation, addresses the use of alternative destruction technologies to replace, partly or wholly, or to be used in addition to the baseline technology. The book considers principal technologies that might be applied to the disposal program, strategies that might be used to manage the stockpile, and combinations of technologies that might be employed.

Topics

Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 1993. Alternative Technologies for the Destruction of Chemical Agents and Munitions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/2218.

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Publication Info

342 pages | 8.5 x 11
Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-309-04946-7
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/2218
Contents

Table of Contents

skim chapter
Front Matter i-xviii
Executive Summary 1-2
REQUIREMENTS AND CONSIDERATIONS 3-4
CHARACTERISTICS OF ALTERNATIVE DESTRUCTION TECHNOLOGIES 5-5
Low-Temperature, Low-Pressure, Liquid-Phase Detoxification 6-9
Low-Temperature, Low-Pressure, Liquid-Phase Oxidation 10-10
Moderate-Temperature, High-Pressure Oxidation 11-11
High-Temperature, Low-Pressure Oxidation 12-12
Gas Effluents 13-13
Treated Metal Parts and Containers 14-14
STRATEGIES AND SYSTEM IMPLICATIONS FOR DEMILITARIZATION 15-18
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS 19-21
THE U.S. CHEMICAL STOCKPILE DISPOSAL PROGRAM 22-26
RISK AND COMMUNITY CONCERNS 27-28
ALTERNATIVE DEMILITARIZATION SYSTEMS 29-30
PRIMARY GOALS AND STRATEGIES FOR DEMILITARIZATION 31-33
SCOPE AND ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY 34-36
DESCRIPTION OF THE AGENTS 37-40
Toxicity of the Agents 41-41
DESCRIPTION OF THE MUNITIONS 42-48
GEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE STOCKPILE 49-52
SUMMARY 53-53
U.S. CHEMICAL DEMILITARIZATION EXPERIENCE 54-61
CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENT DESTRUCTION IN OTHER COUNTRIES 62-73
SUMMARY 74-74
4 Requirements and Considerations for Chemical Demilitarization Technologies 75-75
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF AGENTS AND THEIR BREAKDOWN PRODUCTS 76-76
WASTE STREAMS IN CHEMICAL WEAPONS DESTRUCTION 77-77
PROCESSING RATES 78-80
Liquid Wastes 81-81
Solid Wastes 82-82
GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS IN ASSESSING UNTESTED ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGIES 83-83
Decontamination Standards 84-84
Chlorinated Dioxins 85-85
MONITORING 86-87
EFFLUENT RETENTION TIME REQUIREMENTS 88-88
TIME REQUIRED FOR TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AND DEMONSTRATION 89-90
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AND DEMONSTRATION COSTS 91-91
ASSESSMENT CRITERIA FOR ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGIES 92-93
5 Thermal Treatment and Preprocessing and Postprocessing Operations 94-94
Cryoprocessing 95-95
Mechanical Disassembly of Explosives, Propellants, and Solidified Agent 96-96
THERMAL TREATMENT 97-97
Solid Wastes 98-100
Water Recycle 101-101
Reduction of Waste Gas Volume 102-102
Waste Gas Storage Requirement 103-104
Storage and Retention Technologies 105-105
Activated-Carbon (Charcoal) Adsorption Systems 106-108
6 Low-Temperature, Liquid-Phase Processes 109-109
CHEMICAL DETOXIFICATION PROCESSES 110-111
GB (Sarin) 112-115
VX 116-117
H (Mustard) 118-120
Reduction Methods Conceivably Applicable to GB, VX, and H 121-121
DETOXIFICATION WITH IONIZING RADIATION 122-122
Chemical Oxidation 123-123
Electrochemical Oxidation 124-124
Oxidizing Agents Plus UV Light 125-125
Introduction and Overview 126-127
Direct Destruction of GB and VX 128-130
BIODEGRADATION OF REACTION PRODUCTS FROM THE CHEMICAL PROCESSING OF GB AND VX 131-131
Engineering Prospects 132-135
Summary of the Potential Application of Biological Processes 136-136
7 Processes at Medium and High Temperatures 137-137
Wet Air Oxidation 138-145
Supercritical Water Oxidation 146-151
Molten Metal Pyrolysis 152-155
Plasma Arc Processes 156-159
Gasification Processes 160-162
Synthetica Detoxifier 163-168
Catalytic Fluidized-Bed Oxidation 169-170
Molten Salt Oxidation 171-173
Catalytic Oxidation 174-175
Hydrogenation Processes 176-179
The Adams Process-Reaction with Sulfur 180-184
DESTRUCTION TECHNOLOGIES 185-185
Low-Temperature, Low-Pressure, Liquid-Phase Detoxification 186-189
Moderate-Temperature, High-Pressure Oxidation 190-190
High-Temperature, Low-Pressure Pyrolysis 191-191
High-Temperature, Low-Pressure Oxidation 192-192
Solid Waste 193-193
Gas Waste Streams 194-195
Program Goals 196-196
Strategies for Disposal 197-199
System Considerations 200-204
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS 205-208
A Statement of Task 209-209
B Letter from James R. Ambrose, Dated October 21, 1987 210-212
C Letter from Charles Baronian, Dated August 7, 1992 213-214
2. Discussion 215-215
3. Assumptions 216-216
4. Schedule 217-218
5. Cost Discussion 219-221
5. Program Costs 222-222
5. Summary 223-224
CASE 1 IMPLEMENT AN ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGY 225-228
CASE 2 PROCEED WITH BASELINE TECHNOLOGY AFTER DELAY FOR ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGY REVIEW 229-236
D Biographical Sketches 237-243
E Technology Developers That Supplied Information 244-249
F Committee Meetings and Activities 250-252
GUEST SPEAKERS 253-254
OBSERVERS 255-255
INVITED OBSERVERS WHO WERE UNABLE TO ATTEND 256-258
G Technology Status Worksheet 259-261
H Excerpt from the U.S. Army's 5X Decontamination Review 262-267
ENCLOSURE 1: REFERENCE LIST 268-270
APPLICATIONS TO CHEMICAL WEAPONS DESTRUCTION 271-271
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES 272-272
DEVELOPMENT NEEDS 273-273
TECHNOLOGY DESCRIPTION 274-274
STATUS AND DATABASE 275-275
APPLICATION TO CHEMICAL WEAPONS DESTRUCTION 276-276
SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS 277-277
DEVELOPMENT NEEDS 278-278
WET AIR OXIDATION 279-280
Process Material Balance 281-286
Heat and Material Balances 287-291
References and Bibliography 292-310
Index 311-323
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