The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is soliciting innovative research proposals to develop prototype systems for agnostic conversion of chemical warfare agents to inert material.
Destroying bulk stores of Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs) and their organic precursors abroad is a significant challenge for the international community.
Current approaches such as hydrolysis, incineration and supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) to process CWAs and precursor chemicals have a number of shortcomings:
- They are not truly agnostic due to limitations with the chemistry and/or materials of construction
- Due to their large size, they require transport of the agent from the storage site to the neutralization site
- Approaches such as hydrolysis and SCWO require consumables (e.g., water), which must be supplied locally and produce significant amounts of hazardous waste that require further processing.
In the Agnostic Compact Demilitarization of Chemical Agents (ACDC) program, DARPA will develop new technologies to address these shortcomings.
The overarching objective of ACDC is to realize a transportable, agnostic prototype system that converts halogenated or non-halogenated organic compound into constitutive oxides (e.g., SOx, POx, NOx) and stable alkaline or alkaline earth metal salts with minimal consumables and no hazardous waste output.
Further details are available via Solicitation Number: DARPA-BAA-15-12. The response deadline is Mar 2, 2015.