Microwave system for small-scale treatment of rocket propellant laboratory derived waste

Period of Performance: 03/04/2009 - 12/01/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

CHA Corp.
372 West Lyon
Laramie, WY 82072
Principal Investigator


A great opportunity exists to develop a clean, efficient, and commercially viable process for destroying environmentally hazardous waste propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics (PEP). In this Phase I feasibility effort, the CHA Corporation (CHA) proposes to develop a small-scale microwave system capable of destroying experimental, laboratory-derived rocket propellant waste to non-detectable levels. The proposed microwave disposal system will operate in research laboratories whenever small quantities of PEPs are generated. This microwave system will completely destroy PEP wastes safely and without creating any toxic air and water pollutants. The microwave disposal system will be compact, portable, and provide safe destruction of highly energetic waste materials in the lab. This technology also may be applicable to destroying small quantities of other environmentally hazardous toxic chemicals generated by military, industrial, and university laboratories. The proposed process has the opportunity to be as successful as a previous CHA process that uses a microwave scrubber technology to destroy hydrazine fuel vapor in nitrogen or helium. CHA developed this technology into a full-scale microwave process that is now installed at Vandenberg Air Force Base for hypergolic fuel-vapor treatment. CHA will prepare the detailed design of the working prototype for the Phase II program. BENEFITS: The primary benefit is a portable microwave disposal system, capable of destroying small quantities of rocket propellant waste materials generated by the military R&D laboratories. The secondary benefit is a microwave disposal system that can be installed at the military and industrial R&D laboratories to safely and economically destroy small quantities of environmentally hazardous chemical wastes.