Analysts are working with munitions-grade hydrolysate to provide more accurate procedures for the testing and processing of the Blue Grass chemical agents.
“Right now, we are testing GB hydrolysate samples as we would during operations,” said Schavon Johnson, laboratory analyst, Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass. “The agent we had been using to make hydrolysate was too pure, so we needed to have hydrolysate that accurately portrays what we will see as the plant is processing.”
The Blue Grass Laboratory will test the hydrolysate resulting from chemical agent processing to determine if the agent has been destroyed, said Jamie Hess, government shift representative, Blue Grass Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant. This is a standard procedure that will be performed on each batch of hydrolysate before it will be allowed to be released into storage tanks where it will await secondary processing.
“We add two chemical formulas to the hydrolysate and then spin it in a centrifuge. The mixture separates into two layers, a water layer and an organic layer that might contain agent,” Johnson said. “That layer is then processed in a gas chromatograph for confirmation of the presence or absence of agent. This process will be used to confirm if the plant systems are working correctly to destroy the agent.”
The testing process within the Lab will take about six hours, Johnson said.