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Portable Cold Plasma System for Biowarfare Agent Decontamination

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Office for Chemical and Biological Defense
Contract: W911SR-21-C-0033
Agency Tracking Number: C203-003-0063
Amount: $167,466.69
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: CBD203-003
Solicitation Number: 20.3
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-05-24
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-11-23
Small Business Information
6820 Moquin Dr NW
Huntsville, AL 35806-2900
United States
DUNS: 185169620
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Ketan Bhatt
 (256) 726-4908
Business Contact
 Edward McAbee
Phone: (256) 361-0817
Research Institution

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. *

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