Clean-up of biological agents using arcjet plasma sources



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Texas Tech University


Biological agents can be destructed using some of the general techniques, like treating with formaldehyde, or moist heat, and radioactive materials will decay with the passage of sufficient time. But these conventional methods are not readily adoptable to large surfaces, especially in the open air, for rapid clean up. The availability of destruction technique for hazardous biological agents, which is presented here, would be particularly helpful in the destruction of battlefield chemical and biological warfare agents. This thesis provides one of the many destruction procedures for a particular type of bacteria present in the biological agents. The purpose of decontamination is achieved by evaluating thermal plasmas for use in the destrucdon of deadly chemical and biological warfare agents. The procedure consists of employing an electric arc to establish plasma forming gas plume, to which the spilled biological agents are exposed and this kills the harmful agents. The two different approaches used here are nitrogen plasma, and a nitrogen and argon plasma arcjet. The proposed concept is to install a row of similar nozzles across the front of a truck, which will cover a specified amount of area on the ground. The truck runs over the area and destroys the biological agents. Additionally, the methods developed have application in the destruction of medical wastes; hazardous industrial wastes and in the destruction of hazardous materials associated with worldwide demilitarization activities.