Neutralization is the technology selected to destroy the stockpile of nerve agent (GB or “Sarin” and VX) contained in rockets and projectiles at the Blue Grass Army Depot.
How Neutralization Works
During the neutralization process, the munitions will be taken apart and the nerve agent drained and separated from the weapons’ explosive components (energetics). The nerve agent will be mixed vigorously with hot water and sodium hydroxide to destroy, or neutralize, it. The resulting product, known as hydrolysate, will be held and tested to ensure chemical agent destruction.
After testing confirms the destruction of the nerve agent, the hydrolysate will be shipped to a permitted hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility for further processing in accordance with environmental permitting.
The metal parts of the munitions will be heated to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit for thermal decontamination for a minimum of 15 minutes. The metal parts can then be safely recycled.
Gases will be filtered through a series of High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) and carbon filters before being released into the atmosphere. Water will be recycled into the pilot plant and reused as part of the destruction process.
Learn more about neutralization by watching these videos: