Novel Bioterrorism Decontamination Systems

EPA Contract Number: 68D02081
Title: Novel Bioterrorism Decontamination Systems
Investigators: Nemser, Stuart
Small Business: Compact Membrane Systems Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: I
Project Period: September 30, 2002 through March 31, 2003
Project Amount: $70,000
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2002) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , SBIR - Air Pollution , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)


The threat of terrorist or military attack with biological or chemical warfare agents (BWA or CWA) is of increasing concern to U.S. military forces and, after the events of September 11th, the general public. Efforts to counter the impact of such a strike has focused primarily on the use of these agents in battlefield environments, but other attack scenarios, including metropolitan and civilian targets, are possible. Potential threat agents include bacteria, viruses, spores, and toxins such as anthrax, smallpox, and plague. Neutralization and decontamination of buildings and the environment as well as protection of civilians, health care personnel, and military forces will be a priority if such an event occurred. Compact Membrane Systems, Inc. (CMS) has identified a novel route to destroy BWA/CWA.

The CMS technology has many advantages, including: (1) easy retrofit, (2) minimal moving parts, (3) destruction versus simple removal, and (4) broad effectiveness against many pathogens. The aim of this program is to develop these systems and demonstrate their effectiveness against surrogate pathogens. Phase I will demonstrate system feasibility by building systems and demonstrating the destruction of surrogate pathogens.

Successful development of this technology would provide neutralization and decontamination of BWA/CWA. This technology would protect buildings and occupants in the event of exposure. The ability to use this technology in many forms will be valuable, especially when introduced into heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to reduce the incidence of infection in hospitals and other large buildings.

Supplemental Keywords:

small business, SBIR, EPA, bioterrorism, decontamination, chemical warfare agents, CWA, biological warfare agents, BWA, pathogens., Scientific Discipline, Air, Environmental Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, homeland security, decontamination, chemical treatment, biological warfare agents, pathogenic microbes, bioterrorism, smallpox, anthrax, microbial contaminants

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report