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Enzymatic Degradation of Rocket Propellant Waste

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
401 E STATE ST STE 200 ITHACA, NY 14850-4400
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Enzymatic Degradation of Rocket Propellant Waste
Agency: DOD
Contract: FA9302-11-C-0008
Award Amount: $733,786.00


ABSTRACT: During the normal course of research, development, and testing by the DOD small quantities of environmentally hazardous waste propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics (PEP) are produced. The compliance costs and burden associated with open burn/open detonation operations are considerable, including permit fees, ground water, soil and air sampling, analysis and monitoring of environmental impacts, regulatory tracking and reporting, and compliance inspections. Research and development into alternative methods of small scale degradation is therefore needed. Agave BioSystems proposes to utilize a novel enzymatic process for the biological degradation of hazardous waste propellants, explosives and pyrotechnics. In the Phase I, proof of concept for an enzymatic degradation system was successfully demonstrated using the energetic material RDX. In the Phase II, a system for broad degradation of propellant waste, including ammonium perchlorate, TNT and RDX will be developed and delivered for field use. BENEFIT: Successful implementation of the Phase II program will lead to the design and installation of disposal systems at military rocket propellant development lab facilities that lack permitted OBOD facilities. This technology will also provide for the portable disposal of unexploded ordinance. A secondary commercial application is for manufacturers of low-order energetic pyrotechnics (fireworks, road and boating flares). One of the largest potential markets will be the ammonium perchlorate (AP) which is the oxidizer and primary ingredient in solid propellant for most large rocket motors. In addition there is a potential international market provided that the appropriate export controls can be maintained.

Principal Investigator:

Mehran Pazirandeh
Staff Scientist
(607) 272-0002

Business Contact:

Noe Salazar
(512) 656-6200
Small Business Information at Submission:

Agave BioSystems, Inc.
P.O. Box 100 Ithaca, NY -

EIN/Tax ID: 161551819
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: Yes
HUBZone-Owned: Yes