The U.S. Army has identified a need to achieve broad-spectrum chemical protection for breathing equipment supplied for individual and collective protection applications.
This need has arisen due to threats associated with toxic industrial chemicals (TICs), defined as chemicals that are manufactured on an industrial scale and readily used and transported around the globe.
Examples of TICs for which chemical protection is desired include, but are not limited to, ammonia (NH3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), chlorine (Cl2), hydrogen cyanide (HCN), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S).
There is also a need to provide safe breathing for first responders and military personnel, among others, who enter chemically contaminated areas to lend assistance and contain the toxic chemical spill.
For these situations, the chemical threat is often unknown at the time of the toxic chemical release. As a result, it is often not feasible to analyze the air stream for the toxic gas, then select a respirator specifically designed to remove the toxic gas. It is also not feasible, from a cost and logistic aspect, to retain or transport a number of dissimilar respirators to handle the range of the threat. Ideally there would be one respirator to meet the demands of the broad spectrum toxic chemical challenge.
The Army has developed filtration media incorporating zirconium hydroxide loaded with a transition metal reactant that sequesters basic and acidic gases from the dry and humid air. Specific illustrative examples of basic gases include NH3, methyl amine, dimethyl amine, and acid gases, such as for example HCN and SO2. The filtration media may be in many forms such as beads or granules and may be housed in a respirator or larger vessels for the treating of industrial waste streams.
Parties interested in this technology may also be interested in US patent 9,868,107.
- Filtration material possesses a high concentration of both acid and basic sites
- Filtration media capable of simultaneously removing large amounts of both NH3 and SO2 – an off gassed by-product of power plants
- US patent 9,895,674 available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Army researchers