New Biocidal Oxidizer Material Suitable for Use in Weapons to Defeat Chem/Bio Agents is Developed by University of Maryland Faculty Member Funded by DTRA


Aerosol-derived periodate salt nanoparticles.

Problem: One of the biggest challenges to countering weapons of mass destruction (WMD) is how to contain or neutralize chemical or biological agents that may be released when a WMD is attacked with an explosive. DTRA has been funding basic research to combine thermal- and chemical-kill techniques to destroy larger fractions of the weapon’s agent during and after an explosive blast event.

Results: Under a DTRA-funded basic research program, Professor Michael Zachariah of the University of Maryland has developed a novel spray technique to generate nano-sized particles of periodate salts. These salts have been found to be potent oxidizers with significant biocidal-iodine content. Moreover, they react with aluminum nanoparticles with more than four times the energy and significantly more quickly than CuO oxidizers used today, making them viable candidates for WMD-defeat weapons charges.

Potential: The modeling of these results has shown that ignition and reaction of nano-aluminum reactive material blends depend critically on gas-phase oxygen. Prior to this work it had been thought that the energy was controlled by reactions in the condensed phase. This fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of oxidation will lead to the design of even more efficient super-reactive, energetic nanomaterials.

Transition/Impact: The publication of these results in Angewandte Chemie, the designation of the paper as a “hot paper” by the editors, and its being highlighted in the news section of the journal has led to over twenty news articles in the international press.



WEAPON AND TARGET INTERACTION (TA-4)
HDTRA1-10-1-0118: REACTION DYNAMICS AND DISPERSION OF ENERGETIC BIOCIDES
MICHAEL ZACHARIAH, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND