Development of a Portable Field Decontamination Unit

EPA Contract Number: 68D03058
Title: Development of a Portable Field Decontamination Unit
Investigators: Kovach, Kurt
Current Investigators: Orrico, Mike
Small Business: PlasmaSol Corporation
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: II
Project Period: October 1, 2003 through September 30, 2004
Project Amount: $225,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (2003) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , SBIR - Air Pollution , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The goal of this Phase I research project is to develop a nonthermal plasma surface contaminant destruction system that would sterilize surfaces in an affected building following a bioterror attack. The PlasmaSol technology will be scaled and fitted to a portable cleaning system that can be moved throughout a contaminated building and clean flat and odd-shaped surfaces. The PlasmaSol system will destroy surface contaminants ranging from 0.3 microns (chemical agents and viruses) to thousands of microns (spores of genre Bacillus). The plasma process may use an additive carrier gas to accelerate destruction. The carrier gas also will assist in maintaining residual ozone levels to within legal standards.

Experience also shows that destruction of spores, viruses, and chemical compounds can be accomplished without damaging the surface of the object being cleaned. When compared to other means and techniques, PlasmaSol's destruction mechanism produces no collateral damage. This cannot be said for devices such as autoclaves or processes using chemical oxidants, such as chlorine dioxide. Results from the Phase I research project exceeded expectations. Phase I provided ample preparation to achieve technical success both in performance and in a workable engineering design. The success of this Phase II project will not only meet a critical short-term need in the United States, but also will fill a critical void in the technology servicing the medical and food processing industries.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, EPA, bioterrorism, Bacillus, chemical agents, chlorine dioxide, spores, viruses, decontamination, chlorine dioxide, Scientific Discipline, Air, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Microbiology, Biochemistry, Environmental Monitoring, Ecological Risk Assessment, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, building decontamination, homeland security, decontamination, biological warfare agents, bioterrorism, air sampling, bacterial spores, analytical chemistry, biodefense decontamination, contaminant destruction system, portable field decontamination unit, microbial contaminants, air quality field measurements, air decontamination, chemical agents

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report

  • SBIR Phase I:

    Development of a Portable Field Decontamination Unit