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Composition of CBRN Decontamination Effluent and Development of Surrogate Mixtures for Testing Effluent Treatment Technologies

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Technical Report

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Army Engineer Research and Development Center Vicksburg, United States

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Decontamination efforts after a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear CBRN event require large quantities of water, and produce correspondingly large volumes of highly hazardous waste. This water use and production can be problematic in terms of logistics, safety and liability during and after a domestic or military event. The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center is developing a deployable effluent treatment system that could be used to treat the waste from decontamination operations for responsible discharge or potential reuse in decontamination activities. In order to develop such a system, it is important to understand and characterize the water that will be treated. In the fortunate absence of CBRN events to collect samples for analysis, the best alternative is to estimate the composition and concentration of components likely to be found in decontamination after such an event. This report summarizes our effort to provide that analysis, including the contribution of the CBRN agents, decontaminating agents, and additional materials produced as a result of washing e.g., oil, dirt, hair, etc..

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