Next-generation nonparticulate dry nonwoven pad for chemical warfare agent decontamination

Seshadri S. Ramkumar, Adam H. Love, Utkarsh R. Sata, Carolyn J. Koester, William J. Smith, Garrett A. Keating, Lawrence W. Hobbs, Stephen B. Cox, William M. Lagna, Ronald J. Kendall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


New, nonparticulate decontamination materials promise to reduce both military and civilian casualties by enabling individuals to decontaminate themselves and their equipment within minutes of exposure to chemical warfare agents or other toxic materials. One of the most promising decontaminating materials has been developed using a needle-punching nonwoven process to construct a nonparticulate composite fabric of multiple layers, including an inner layer of activated carbon fabric, which is well-suited for the decontamination of both personnel and equipment. This paper describes the development of a composite nonwoven pad and compares efficacy test results for this pad with results from testing other decontamination systems. The efficacy of the dry nonwoven fabric pad was demonstrated specifically for decontamination of the chemical warfare blister agent bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide (HD or sulfur mustard). Gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/ MS) results indicate that the composite fabric was capable of significantly reducing the vapor hazard from mustard liquid absorbed into the nonwoven dry fabric pad. The mustard adsorption efficiency of the nonwoven pad was significantly higher than that of particulate activated carbon and was similar to the currently fielded U.S. military M291 kit. The nonwoven pad has several advantages over other materials, especially its nonparticulate, yet flexible, construction. This composite fabric was also shown to be chemically compatible with potential toxic and hazardous liquids, which span a range of hydrophilic and hydrophobic chemicals, including a concentrated acid, an organic solvent, and a mild oxidant (bleach).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9889-9895
Number of pages7
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 17 2008


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