New 'scrubber' speeds removal of powerful anthrax clean-up agent

Jul 14, 2008

Researchers in New Jersey report discovery of a fast, efficient method for removing a powerful pesticide used to sterilize buildings and equipment following anthrax attacks.

Their chemical "scrubber" removes 99 percent of the pesticide following fumigation and could pave the way for its broader use in anthrax clean-up efforts, the scientists say. Their study is scheduled for the July 18 issue of ACS' Organic Process Research & Development.

In the new study, Roman Bielski and Peter J. Joyce note that the commonly used pesticide, methyl bromide, is superior to chlorine dioxide for destroying anthrax-causing bacteria and their spores. However, it is highly toxic to humans and may harm the environment by destroying the ozone layer. Researchers thus have sought an efficient method for removing this promising anthrax decontamination agent.

Bielski and Joyce documented the effectiveness of their removal method in experiments with an empty office trailer filled with air containing methyl bromide. They treated air exhausted from the trailer with a solution of sodium sulfide combined with a powerful catalyst. This chemical "scrubber" removed more than 99 percent of the methyl bromide from the air.

Link: dx.doi.org/10.1021/op800016j

Source: ACS

Explore further: Towards controlled dislocations

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Microsoft CEO launches diversity training effort

54 minutes ago

(AP)—Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has again apologized to employees and announced in a company-wide memo that all workers will receive expanded training on how to foster an inclusive culture as he works to repair damage ...

'Red effect' sparks interest in female monkeys

2 hours ago

Recent studies showed that the color red tends increase our attraction toward others, feelings of jealousy, and even reaction times. Now, new research shows that female monkeys also respond to the color red, ...

Recommended for you

Triplet threat from the sun

10 hours ago

The most obvious effects of too much sun exposure are cosmetic, like wrinkled and rough skin. Some damage, however, goes deeper—ultraviolet light can damage DNA and cause proteins in the body to break down ...

Towards controlled dislocations

Oct 20, 2014

Crystallographic defects or irregularities (known as dislocations) are often found within crystalline materials. Two main types of dislocation exist: edge and screw type. However, dislocations found in real ...

User comments : 0