The United States Army is currently examining chemical neutralization followed by biodegradation for disposal of the chemical warfare agent sulfur mustard. The acidic hydrolysis of sulfur mustard (“mustard gas”, 2,2′-dichlorodiethyl sulfide), yields a detoxified and biodegradable product typically containing from 80 to 95% thiodiglycol. The hydrolyzed product was typically amended with 1,450 mg/L of ammonium chloride (NH4Cl), 280 mg/L of potassium phosphate monobasic (KH2PO4), and mineral salts and fed to aerobic Sequencing Batch Reactors (SBRs). The SBRs were operated with 3-5 hour aerated Fill, 17-18 hour React, 1 hour Settle and 1 hour Draw periods. The efficiency of carbon removal was greater than 90% and the effluent was non-toxic as determined by aquatic toxicity tests.
Biodegradation of sulfur mustard hydrolysate in the sequencing batch reactor
David A. Irvine, James P. Earley, Daniel P. Cassidy, Steven P. Harvey; Biodegradation of sulfur mustard hydrolysate in the sequencing batch reactor. Water Sci Technol 1 January 1997; 35 (1): 67–74. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.1997.0014
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