A Safe and Rapid Method for Biological and Chemical Decontamination of Buildings and Equipment Using the TERRACAP™ CB Decon System

EPA Contract Number: EPD08042
Title: A Safe and Rapid Method for Biological and Chemical Decontamination of Buildings and Equipment Using the TERRACAP™ CB Decon System
Investigators: Burns, Lyle D.
Small Business: RTA Systems Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Phase: I
Project Period: March 1, 2008 through August 31, 2008
Project Amount: $69,956
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2008) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Homeland Security


Today’s world and political climate lends itself to potential attacks by hostile forces and terrorists where both exterior and interior surfaces of vehicles, buildings, or equipment could become contaminated with biological warfare (BW) or chemical warfare (CW) agents. RTA Systems, Inc., proposes a system based on a two-part, water-based liquid solution that is spray-applied to contaminated surfaces for detoxification and permanent microencapsulation of residual materials (for both BW and CW agents) into a solid residue.

The objective of the EPA Phase I effort is to evaluate the feasibility of generating the TERRACAP™ Detox additive in situ from non-hazardous components and maintain the TERRACAP™ CB Detox System’s effectiveness against CB and CW agents for both hard and porous surfaces. Previous testing of this technology under a U.S. Air Force SBIR grant, with a liquid oxidizer incorporated, has demonstrated its effectiveness and capability to rapidly and completely decontaminate surfaces. Under this effort, RTA will conduct laboratory research and testing to achieve project objectives.

The implications of a successful approach under this SBIR project will result in a TERRACAP™ CB Detox System that has extensive environmental benefits and provides enhanced user safety before, during, and after decontamination. The system will be: (1) highly effective on a broad range of chemical and biological warfare (CBW) agents to include greater than 99.999 percent detoxification of chemical agents, and a log 7 kill of 10x7 challenge for biological agents; (2) fast with less than 5 minutes for complete decon process restoring the environment to a neutral pH; (3) safe for the operator, transportation, and storage; (4) flexible for active use across wide temperature ranges; (5) ability to be used on a wide variety of surfaces including porous and non-porous; (6) easy to deploy and use with uncomplicated equipment; (7) easily recoverable non-hazardous solid residue; (8) long shelf life (perhaps greater than 5 years); (9) good material compatibility and far less corrosive than other decontamination systems; (10) less expensive than competing systems; and (11) retains dual-use capability as an environmental, day-to-day hydrocarbon and chemical cleanup technology.

It is recognized that the primary applications for TERRACAP™ CB Detox will include homeland defense, the Department of Defense, first responders, state emergency response agencies, and approved foreign countries. In, addition, because of the inherent capability of the system, potential exists for application by industry for cleanup of toxic industrial chemicals and materials.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, EPA, biological warfare, chemical warfare, decontamination, microencapsulation, user safety, detoxification, chemical agents, biological agents, neutral pH, porous surface, non-porous surface, temperature range, solid residue, shelf life, material compatibility, hydrocarbon, chemical, homeland security,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, Sustainable Environment, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental Engineering, decontamination, homeland security, bioterrorism, biowarfare defense, chemical decontamination

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report