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Mission Accomplished

Reducing the threat of chemical weapons for our nation and the world.

Chemical Demilitarization

The science behind chemical weapons demilitarization starts at Battelle. We provide expert technical, scientific and operational services to mitigate current and future threats presented by highly toxic chemicals. From technology development to operations management, you’ll find everything you need for mission success right here.  

Applications

Chemical weapons stockpiles continue to present risks to human health and the environment. In 1993 the U.S. signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, agreeing to destroy remaining stockpiles of chemical agents. Battelle supports the Department of Defense (DoD) as they work to destroy chemical agents in existing stockpiles, safely dispose of residual waste and close the sites in an environmentally responsible manner. While several sites have already been closed, Battelle provides continued support at the two remaining stockpiles in Pueblo, Colorado and Bluegrass, Kentucky. 

Our demilitarization and threat neutralization methods can be applied to reduce the human health and environmental risks associated with a wide range of high-hazard chemicals. 
 

Do you have a high-hazard chemical problem to solve?
Contact us to find out how we can help.
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Capabilities

Battelle has worked on the front lines of chemical weapons demilitarization for more than 25 years. In fact, we developed much of the science behind today’s cutting-edge demilitarization methods, from supercritical water oxidation to microbial degradation. We’re continuing to work to advance new analytical methods, technologies and processes to make the elimination of chemical weapons safer, more sustainable and more economical.  

At Battelle, we do more than follow procedures. We solve problems. Our experienced staff works with our client agencies to find the best possible tailored solutions for the unique challenges. We deliver unbiased, expert advice grounded in solid science and a deep understanding of regulatory requirements and economic constraints. As new threats are identified or new regulatory measures are imposed, we can reach back to scientific expertise across Battelle to develop new technologies and processes to address them. 

equipment used in chem demil

Services

Demilitarization Technology 
We develop and test new technologies and processes for chemical demilitarization that reduce lifecycle costs and increase the safety and sustainability of chemical threat reduction. We are working to bring the next generation of elimination products to market quickly and safely, along with products for air monitoring, waste characterization, laboratory information management and more. 

Technical and Operational Services
Our experienced teams provide a range of onsite and offsite technical support services to help you achieve your mission. From hazard assessment to ongoing monitoring, we work on site with you to develop and implement your demilitarization program. We also provide offsite analytical services and subject matter expertise to give you a comprehensive, end-to-end solution for complex demilitarization projects. We have the facilities and expertise needed to safely handle high-hazard materials. 

Our services include: 
  • Combatting weapons of mass destruction federal agency technical support 
  • High-hazard risk assessment, gap analysis and mitigation 
  • Environmental monitoring and permitting
  • Sample collection and analysis 
  • Technical onsite and offsite professional services
  • Analysis of alternative studies 
Laboratory Management and Support Services 
If you need complete onsite management and operation of your project, Battelle can help. For decades, the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of Homeland Security have trusted Battelle to manage and operate seven National Laboratories. We apply the same proven methods to manage complex chemical demilitarization projects for the Department of Defense. We can help ensure your project meets all mission objectives while staying on time and on budget.  

researchers working in a demil lab

Benefits

Chemical demilitarization is critical for national security and to protect human health and the environment. Battelle is proud to be part of these ongoing efforts to reduce the risks that chemical weapons present to our nation and the world. Through our work, we are making the elimination of chemical weapons safer, more sustainable and more economical. 

We are working to:
  • Reduce health and safety risks for personnel working with toxic agents and hazardous byproducts
  • Increase the safety and sustainability of waste disposal 
  • Reduce the total lifecycle costs of elimination technologies
  • Mitigate new and emerging chemical weapons threats

Battelle Develops Revolutionary Method for Lewisite Chemical Demilitarization for the U.S. Army, Ensuring Timely Closure of Tooele

Challenge

The United States is committed to the timely disposal of its stored chemical warfare agents (CWA) and fulfilling its promise to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in accordance with the provisions and requirements of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Covered under the treaty is the destruction of lewisite at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility and subsequent closure of the plant by 2014. However, at the onset of the project, no worldwide accepted method existed that could prove the presence or absence of lewisite, making it impossible to shutter the facility, potentially leaving the United States open to international scrutiny.

Solution

Although charged with destroying lewisite at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, the U.S. Army's Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) – responsible for storing, treating, and disposing of chemical weapons safely and effectively – did not have the laboratory capability needed to determine if lewisite was present or absent, as an analytical method for direct measurement of that CWA compound did not previously exist. The Army contracted Battelle to develop a definitive analytical method for determining the existence of intact lewisite bringing closure to a critical step in the facility’s demilitarization process. Battelle’s laboratory and team scientists divided the method development task into two distinct parts: Part 1 was development of a set of procedures and extraction steps to support collection and preparation of field samples that might contain lewisite, and Part 2 was focused on instrumental platform conditions and analysis of intact lewisite. Leveraging previous experience and daily test result observations, our scientists derived a new analytical approach which could accurately and reproducibly measure lewisite at parts per million levels, which had never been done before.

Outcome

Battelle played a critical role in helping our nation fulfill our commitment to the timely disposal of stored CWAs by developing the new lewisite detection method, thereby helping keep the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility closure on schedule. Any delays in the destruction of lewisite could have cost the U.S. Army considerable amounts of money, not to mention additional scrutiny from the international community.