Static Detonation Chamber

How the Static Detonation Chamber Worked

The SDC used thermal destruction technology to process the chemical weapons stored at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado that could not be easily processed by the main plant’s automated equipment. Chemical munitions were placed in a feed tray, conveyed to the SDC vessel and fed into the electrically heated detonation chamber. The high heat (approximately 600 degrees Celsius or 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit) detonated the munition, and the chemical agents and energetics were destroyed by thermal decomposition. Gases generated as a result of the detonation were treated by an off-gas treatment system that included a thermal oxidizer, scrubbers and a carbon filter system. All waste streams generated were screened. Scrap metal was decontaminated and disposed of in accordance with environmental laws and regulations.


Step 1

Workers place mustard projectiles in feed tray with aid of material-handling equipment.
Workers place mustard projectiles in feed tray with aid of material-handling equipment.
System allows for minimal handling of projectiles by workers.
System allows for minimal handling of projectiles by workers.

Step 2

Projectiles are conveyed to the top of the vessel.
Projectiles are conveyed to the top of the vessel.
For added safety, a fully automatic, double air-lock feeding conveyor system is used.
For added safety, a fully automatic, double air-lock feeding conveyor system is used.

Step 3

Projectiles are fed into an electrically heated detonation chamber.
Projectiles are fed into an electrically heated detonation chamber.
Chamber temperature is maintained above critical temperature of energetics inside the projectiles.
Chamber temperature is maintained above critical temperature of energetics inside the projectiles.

Step 4

High heat detonates/deflagrates projectiles, and the mustard agent and the energetics are destroyed by explosion/thermal decomposition. The off-gases are treated by an air pollution control system.
High heat detonates/deflagrates projectiles, and the mustard agent and the energetics are destroyed by explosion/thermal decomposition. The off-gases are treated by an air pollution control system.
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