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Portable Cold Plasma System for Biowarfare Agent Decontamination
Phone: (256) 726-4908
Phone: (256) 361-0817
Biowarfare agents pose a significant threat to military personnel and operations. Effective decontamination strategies that eliminate the biowarfare agents prior to human exposure can help mitigate risks associated with exposure. Traditional decontamination techniques rely on “wet” solutions such as chemicals including bleach. However, these decontaminants are unsuitable for sensitive equipment (e.g. communications equipment) which cannot be exposed to chemical decontaminants or strong oxidizing or caustic solutions. Plasmas consisting of ionized gases, radicals and free electrons can effectively remove all organic contaminants from surfaces and offer a suitable alternative for decontamination of sensitive equipment. Current plasma generation technologies, however, rely on bulky equipment as well as utilizing noble gases making them unsuitable for field use. To address these limitations, the overall objective of the proposed project is to develop a man-portable cold plasma system that utilizes air or mixtures thereof for biowarfare agent decontamination. Multi-physics simulations will be used for plasma system design. The optimized design will be implemented in a bread-board prototype along with custom developed battery-operated electronics to support plasma generation. Proof-of-concept will be established by extensively testing the bread-board prototype against target microorganisms deposited on both metal and plastic coupons.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *