Catalytic Coatings for Chemical Protection

Period of Performance: 12/01/2003 - 05/31/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

TDA Research, Inc.
12345 W. 52nd Ave. Array
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
Principal Investigator


The U.S. military must be prepared to operate in an environment contaminated by chemical warfare (CW) or biological warfare (BW) agents. Currently, chemically contaminated hardware is decontaminated either with the highly caustic and corrosive DS2 or with peroxide foam decontaminants. Either approach necessitates carrying sufficient decontaminant to forward bases, and therefore presents an additional logistics burden. Furthermore, even decontaminated items may retain some agent especially around seams, and in time the trapped agent may diffuse out of the coating (desorb), exposing soldiers to additional hazards and activating alarm systems. An ideal protective system would modify the surface of critical materials so that they offer protection from CW and BW agents at all times, with no additional operational or logistics burden. TDA Research, Inc. (TDA) proposes to develop a reactive coating to spontaneously detoxify chemical weapons under ambient conditions, focusing in Phase I on developing a robust catalyst for the hydrolytic detoxification of nerve agents, particularly agent VX. In Phase I we will synthesize new catalytic materials capable of detoxifying agent VX. We will then demonstrate that these new catalysts, and oxidative catalysts for detoxification of agent HD, can be incorporated into coatings as required for military vehicles.