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Portable Cold Plasma System for Biowarfare Agent Decontamination
Phone: (256) 726-4908
Phone: (256) 361-0799
Biowarfare agents pose a significant threat to military personnel and operations and effective decontamination strategies are needed to mitigate risks associated with exposure. Traditional “wet” decontamination techniques utilize harsh chemicals (e.g. bleach) and are unsuitable for sensitive equipment (e.g. communications equipment). 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 for biowarfare agent decontamination. Proof-of-concept was established in Phase I by successful decontamination of material coupons. Phase II research will further optimize the air plasma jet design using multi-physics simulations and extensive testing against select biowarfare surrogates. Brass-board prototypes of the integrated cold plasma system will be developed and demonstrated for decontamination of military radios. Prototypes will be transferred to military personnel for preliminary field-testing and soliciting end-user feedback.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *