Review Criteria for
Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the
Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant
Committee on Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the
Pueblo and Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plants
Board on Army Science and Technology
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by Contract No. W911NF-14-1-0280 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Army. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-31788-7
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-31788-6
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COMMITTEE ON REVIEW CRITERIA FOR SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT OF HYDROLYSATE AT THE PUEBLO AND BLUE GRASS CHEMICAL AGENT DESTRUCTION PILOT PLANTS
ROBERT A. BEAUDET, University of Southern California, Pasadena (retired), Co-Chair
TODD A. KIMMELL, Argonne National Laboratory, Washington, D.C., Office, Co-Chair
EDWARD J. BOUWER, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
JUDITH A. BRADBURY, Independent Consultant, Knoxville, Tennessee
REBECCA A. HAFFENDEN, Argonne National Laboratory, Santa Fe, New Mexico
HANK C. JENKINS-SMITH, University of Oklahoma, Norman
KIMBERLY L. JONES, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
MURRAY G. LORD, Dow Chemical Company, Freeport, Texas
TRISHA H. MILLER, Sandia National Laboratories, Shoreview, Minnesota
ROBERT PUYEAR, Independent Consultant, Chesterfield, Missouri
WILLIAM R. RHYNE, Independent Consultant, Kingston, Tennessee
PHILLIP E. SAVAGE, Pennsylvania State University, State College
PHILIP C. SINGER, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (retired)
NANCY T. SCHULTE, Study Director
NIA D. JOHNSON, Senior Research Associate
DEANNA P. SPARGER, Program Administrative Coordinator
BOARD ON ARMY SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
DAVID M. MADDOX, Independent Consultant, Arlington, Virginia, Chair
JEAN D. REED, Independent Consultant, Arlington, Virginia, Vice Chair
DUANE ADAMS, Independent Consultant, Arlington, Virginia
ILESANMI ADESIDA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
STEVEN W. BOUTELLE, Cisco Consulting Services, Herndon, Virginia
EDWARD C. BRADY, Strategic Perspectives, Inc., McLean, Virginia
W. PETER CHERRY, Independent Consultant, Ann Arbor, Michigan
EARL H. DOWELL, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
JULIA D. ERDLEY, Pennsylvania State University, State College
LESTER A. FOSTER, Electronic Warfare Associates, Herndon, Virginia
JAMES A. FREEBERSYSER, BBN Technology, St. Louis Park, Minnesota
PETER N. FULLER, Cypress International, Springfield, Virginia
W. HARVEY GRAY, Independent Consultant, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
JOHN J. HAMMOND, Independent Consultant, Fairfax, Virginia
RANDALL W. HILL, JR., University of Southern California, Institute for Creative Technologies, Playa Vista
JOHN W. HUTCHINSON, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
BRUCE D. JETTE, Synovision Solutions, Burke, Virginia
ROBIN L. KEESEE, Independent Consultant, Fairfax, Virginia
WILLIAM L. MELVIN, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Smyrna
WALTER F. MORRISON, Independent Consultant, Alexandria, Virginia
ROBIN MURPHY, Texas A&M University, College Station
SCOTT PARAZYNSKI, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston
RICHARD R. PAUL, Independent Consultant, Bellevue, Washington
DANIEL PODOLSKY, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
LEON E. SALOMON, Independent Consultant, Gulfport, Florida
ALBERT A. SCIARRETTA, CNS Technologies, Inc., Springfield, Virginia
JONATHAN M. SMITH, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
DAVID A. TIRRELL, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
MICHAEL A. VANE, DynCorp International, Lorton, Virginia
JOSEPH YAKOVAC, JVM LLC, Hampton, Virginia
BRUCE A. BRAUN, Director
CHRIS JONES, Financial Manager
DEANNA P. SPARGER, Program Administrative Coordinator
When I had to rotate off the Board on Army Science and Technology in 1995, the program director asked me if I would like to chair the first Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment (ACWA) Committee. The U.S. Congress had just passed Public Laws 104-201 and 104-208 establishing ACWA. Of course I said I would be happy to. From that time on, I have been involved with ACWA in one way or another.
Finally, after all these years, the Army is preparing to destroy the chemical stockpile at the Pueblo Chemical Depot. The facility, called, in full, the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP), will destroy its stockpile of 155-mm and 105-mm artillery shells and 4.2-in. mortars, all of which contain one form or another of the chemical agent mustard. The munitions are robotically opened and the mustard collected. The next step in the destruction process is the neutralization of the mustard with lye to produce a product called the hydrolysate. The second step, biotreatment of the hydrolysate, is a first-of-a-kind system that has not been extensively tested with the hydrolysate. The concerns noted by the earlier committee are held by this committee as well and are summarized in this report. Thus, there is some concern that this biotreatment will not mineralize the hydrolysate to water, carbon dioxide, and salts. In that case, the Army wants to hedge its bets by considering offsite transportation and disposal of the hydrolysate. Thus, it asked the National Research Council (NRC) to form an ad hoc committee to recommend when the hydrolysate could be sent offsite. The committee has bent over backward to include and interact with the public, the stakeholders, and the Citizens’ Advisory Commissions in Pueblo and Blue Grass. This report presents the committee’s findings and a recommendation.
Unfortunately, during the course of this study, I developed a medical problem that prevented me from traveling and being further involved with the study. And fortunately, Todd Kimmell came to my rescue and took over the chairing of this committee. Like me, Todd has also been involved with the ACWA since the beginning of the program, but from a different perspective. He was part of the team that developed the initial environmental impact studies that supported the selection of the ACWA alternative technologies. He also has a great deal of experience with NRC committees, having been a member since 2001 of nonstockpile, stockpile, and ACWA committees. I am greatly indebted to Todd for continuing this work, and I know I leave the committee in good hands.
Todd and I and the committee thank all the PCAPP staff, including Rick Holmes, the PCAPP Project Manager; George Lecakes, the PCAPP Chief Scientist; Bruce Huenefeld, the PCAPP site manager; Paul Usinowicz, the PCAPP technical advisor; and Irene Kornelly and Ross Vincent, both members of the Colorado Citizens’ Advisory Commission, for having patience with us and for answering our numerous and sometimes naïve questions.
Also, we thank the NRC staff, including the study director, Nancy Schulte; the program administrative coordinator, Deanna Sparger; and the senior research associate, Nia Johnson, for their continuous support, patience, and assistance in producing this report.
Robert A. Beaudet, Co-Chair
Todd A. Kimmell, Co-Chair
Committee on Review Criteria for Successful Treatment of Hydrolysate at the Pueblo and Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plants
Acknowledgment of Reviewers
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Cheryl A. Burke, Dow Chemical Company,
Charles R. Cantor, Sequenom, Inc.,
Raymond M. Hozalski, University of Minnesota,
Douglas M. Medville, MITRE Corporation (retired),
Leonard M. Siegel, Center for Public Environmental Oversight,
Vernon L. Snoeyink, University of Illinois, and
William J. Walsh, Pepper Hamilton LLP.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Hyla S. Napadensky, Napadensky Energetics, Inc. Appointed by the NRC, she was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
Tables, Figures, and Box
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Aberdeen Chemical Agent Disposal Facility
Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives1
Aberdeen Proving Ground
Blue Grass Army Depot
Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant
Blue Grass Chemical Disposal Facility
brine reduction system
Citizens’ Advisory Commission
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
chemical oxygen demand
Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program
continuous-flow stirred tank reactor
Chemical Weapons Convention
Department of Transportation
environmental impact statement
Environmental Protection Agency
Federal Aviation Administration
Final Environmental Assessment
Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
Federal Emergency Management Program
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Federal Railroad Administration
granular activated carbon
nerve agent (sarin)
Levinstein mustard agent
distilled mustard agent
distilled mustard mixed with bis(2-chloroethylthioethyl) ether
immobilized cell bioreactor
Land Disposal Restriction (RCRA)
Maximum Contaminant Level
miniature continuous air monitoring system(s)
munition washout station
Newport (Indiana) Chemical Depot
Newport (Indiana) Chemical Agent Disposal Facility
National Environmental Policy Act
National Research Council
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant
Pueblo Chemical Depot
Program Executive Office for Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
quantitative transportation risk analysis
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
Research and Development and Demonstration (RCRA)
record of environmental consideration
1 Before June 2003, Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal
total dissolved solids
total organic carbon
treatment, storage, and disposal facility
total suspended solids
volatile suspended solids
water recovery system