The Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) is safely and efficiently destroying the chemical weapons stockpile stored at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot. Technology known as neutralization followed by biotreatment is used to destroy the majority of projectiles containing mustard agent. Three SDC units, each consisting of two components, the detonation chamber, and the off-gas treatment system (OTS), are augmenting the main plant by destroying 4.2-inch mortar rounds. The SDCs will also eliminate remaining overpacked 105mm and 155mm projectiles which were deemed unsuitable for processing in the main plant.
What is the Static Detonation Chamber?
An SDC uses thermal destruction methods to destroy munitions. An SDC is a nearly spherical, armored, high-alloy, stainless steel vessel. The electrically heated containment vessel detonates the munition to destroy the agent and munitions components.
How does it work?
Chemical agent-filled munitions are placed in a carrier, conveyed to the top of the SDC vessel and fed into the heated detonation chamber. High temperature (approximately 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit or 600 degrees Celsius) detonates or deflagrates the munition, and the chemical agent is destroyed by thermal decomposition.
Gases generated from the detonation or deflagration are treated by an OTS that includes a thermal oxidizer that converts carbon monoxide and hydrogen to carbon dioxide, water and acid gases (hydrochloric and sulfuric). Gases from the thermal oxidizer are cooled and filtered to remove contaminants.
The SDC produces minimal liquid waste. Scrap metal removed from the vessel may be recycled. Salts from the OTS are treated and disposed of in accordance with state and federal laws.