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Patent: To Make Chemical Weapons Safe
Patent: To Make Chemical Weapons Safe | dal_ftw_txbz, Rajan K. Vampati, Ramesh S. Hegde, David Y Son, Plano, Edward R. Biehl, Dallas, patent, 8084662, chemical weapons, detox, Method for degrading chemical warfare agents, Mn(VII) oxide, with-and-without solid support,

Rajan K. Vampati, Ramesh S. Hegde and David Y Son, all of Plano and Edward R. Biehl of Dallas, received U.S. Patent 8,084,662 for “Method for degrading chemical warfare agents using Mn(VII) oxide with-and-without solid support.”

Texas Business Patent Of The Day:  Four Dallas area men devised a way to make chemical warfare weapons safe.

Rajan K. Vampati, Ramesh S. Hegde and David Y Son, all of Plano and Edward R. Biehl of Dallas, received U.S. Patent 8,084,662 for “Method for degrading chemical warfare agents using Mn(VII) oxide with-and-without solid support.”

The four filed for the patent more than six years ago on May 9, 2005.

The patent assignee is ChK Group Inc. of Plano.

The invention generally relates to reactive sorbents and methods of making and using the same for the decontamination of surfaces contaminated with highly toxic materials, including Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) and/or Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TIC's), and the like, and for neutralizing such chemical and biological compounds or agents. 

Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) typically classified as litter vesicants or nerve agents, pose a risk to both military personnel and to the population at large. Technologies for the safe disposal, facility and site cleanup and destruction of stockpiles are needed to protect the environment and the public. Additionally, the use of CWAs and Toxic Industrial Chemicals (TICs) by terrorists is a potential threat to the civilian population. Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents pose a risk to soldiers and to the civilian population.

In the past three decades, CWAs have been used by the former Soviet Union army in Cambodia, Laos and Afghanistan (mycotoxins, yellow rain, tricothecene), by Iraq against Iran ((mustard gas (HD) and nerve agent (tabun)), and Iraq against its Kurdish dissidents (mustard gas (HD) and nerve agent (HCN)). Also, the use of Sarin gas by the Aum Shinrikyo cult, in 1995 was the first known terrorist attack against a civilian population resulting in some 12 deaths and 1,000 casualties. 

Some 20 nations are suspected of possessing CWAs or have the means to make them. Representatives from more than 130 nations signed the final draft of the Chemical Weapons Convention in January of 1993, which outlaws the production, use, sale, and stockpiling of these chemicals and their means of delivery including the destruction of existing stocks by the year 2005. Thus far, about sixty of the signatory nations have ratified the treaty which entails the destruction of 25,000 tons and 50,000 tons of CWAs in the United States and former Soviet Union, respectively. 

These chemicals are contained in bulk storage vessels, metal barrels, canisters, rockets, land mines, mortar and artillery shells, cartridges, and missiles. The projected costs for destruction of CWAs have been estimated at $ 8 billion and $ 10 billion, respectively, for the United States and the former Soviet Union alone. Operationally, chemical processing, as envisioned in the past, would frequently require handling and transferring of CWAs by human operators. Such handling operations could include, for example, removal of the CWAs from a warhead or missile casing, canister or other containerized delivery system, thereby exposing personnel to the grave danger of contact with the CWAs. Loading the CWAs so removed from a container into a separate reaction vessel would lead to another opportunity for exposure. 

The CWAs can be classified into four main classes: 1) mustard gas, comprising: a) sulfur mustards (undistilled sulfur mustard (H), sulfur mustard (HD), and HD/agent T mixture (HT)); and b) nitrogen mustards (ethylbis(2-chloroethyl)amine (HN1), methylbis(2-chloroethyl)amine (HN2), tris(2-chloroethyl)amine (HN3), 2) Lewisites; and 3) four nerve agents (O-ethyl S(2-diisopropylamino)ethyl methylphosphonothioate (VX), tabun (GA), Sarin (GB), and Soman (GD), and 4) the blood agent cyanogens chloride (CK) (Munro et al., 1999). 

Decontamination technologies for safe disposal, facility and site cleanup, and destruction of stockpiles are needed to protect the environment as well as the public. According to the Department of Defense, the developed technology should have following properties:

Be an environmentally friendly product.

Be capable of safe transportation, storage and handling including long term stability.

Serve as a first responder to protect the civilian population.

Be capable of restoring contaminated facilities.

Be characterized as not affecting the operation of sensitive electronic equipment.

Generate minimal toxic byproducts, and

Rendering treated waste as being disposable in municipal waste. 

An improved decontamination technology meeting the above listed guidelines would find immediate use in any number of existing CWAs and BWAs applications such as those listed below:

CWAs stockpiles destruction.

Improvements in soldier's clothing for protection against CWAs and BWAs; so as to provide greater flexibility/movement for the army to operate during terrorist attack.

Gas masks for soldiers and civilian populations.

The destruction of CWAs and TICs present in air, water, and soils.

Protection of occupants in specially designed rooms to prevent deadly gas permeation.

Degradation of ammunition wastes present at several Department of Defense (DoD) sites.

Development of effective skin lotion decon against CWAs and BWAs.

The development of CWAs and BWAs decon spray for contaminated interior spaces, vehicles, aircrafts, sensitive equipment, etc.

Destruction of spores and pathogenic viruses.

Construction of sensors to detect the presence of CWAs and BWAs, and

Provision of water filtration units for drinking water supplies contaminated with CWAs. 

Several CWA decontamination products and technologies exist, the efficiency of which depends upon environmental conditions as well as the mode of reaction. For purposes of the present discussion, the CWA protection and decon technologies which presently exist have been divided into the following categories: decon of interior spaces, therapeutic and protective skin lotions, CWA stockpile destruction, fabric for protection against CWAs and decon for BWAs. 

The invention by the four Texans provides a novel method of detoxifying highly toxic chemicals, and treating surfaces contaminated, or potentially contaminated, with toxic chemical agents such as chemical warfare agents and/or industrial toxins. The methods utilizes a novel sorbent compound which comprises Mn(VII) mineral which can be either solid supported or non-solid supported. The Mn(VII) mineral can be provided in a number of different forms including creams, lotions, powders, liquids, slurries and aerosols.