The Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant, or PCAPP, is safely and efficiently destroying the stockpile of chemical weapons stored at the U.S. Army Pueblo Chemical Depot. Mustard agent is destroyed in the main plant utilizing neutralization followed by biotreatment. After mustard agent neutralization, the resulting product, called hydrolysate, is further processed in the Biotreatment Area. The hydrolysate is fed into the Immobilized Cell Bioreactors to biologically degrade organic materials producing a saltwater solution. The salt is then removed for disposal and the water is recycled.
The Static Detonation Chamber (SDC) technology was chosen as part of the chemical weapons destruction process at PCAPP. Three thermally heated detonation chambers in the SDC complex augment the main plant by eliminating 4.2-inch mortar rounds and overpacked munitions. SDC technology utilizes thermal destruction to destroy mustard agent by detonation or deflagration.
In September 2002, the Bechtel Pueblo Team (BPT) was awarded the systems contract to facilitate the plant through all of the project stages — design, construction, systemization, pilot testing, operations and closure. In May 2018, the contract was amended to include the SDC complex.
The Program Executive Office, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program, known as PEO ACWA, is the Department of Defense agency responsible for completing stockpile destruction operations by the Chemical Weapons Convention treaty commitment of Sept. 30, 2023. U.S. public law mandates stockpile destruction by Dec. 31, 2023. PEO ACWA will continue to prioritize the safety of the workforce, community and environment throughout the closure process.