N,N-Dichlorobenzyl amine: An effective decontaminant for highly toxic chemical warfare agents sulfur mustard and VX

 

Gutch, Pranav Kumar; Mazumder, Avik ; Gupta, Arvind Kumar

Abstract

The chemical decontamination of vesicant, bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide (Sulfur Mustard, SM) and nerve agent O-ethyl S-2-(N,N-diisopropylaminoethyl) methylphosphonothiolate (VX) has been achieved by an operationally simple method by using a new positive chlorine bearing reagent N,N-dichlorobenzylamine. Deactivation of these highly toxic chemical warfare agents has been achieved in acetonitrile-water medium. Before attempting the reactions on these highly toxic real agents, the reagent has been successfully tested for its decontaminating efficiency on the non-toxic simulants (2-chloroethyl phenyl sulfide, a simulant of Sulfur Mustard and O,S-diethyl methylphosphonothioate, simulant of VX). Progress of the decontamination reactions have been monitored by gas chromatography coupled with a flame photometric detector working in sulfur detection mode (GC-FPD(S)), 1H and 31P{1H} NMR spectroscopy. The products obtained after decontamination of Sulfur Mustard (SM) and VX have been thereafter identified by GC-MS technique. This reagent has been found to be highly advantageous over earlier reported decontaminating reagents in terms of - ease of preparation, cost effectiveness, stability, good shelf life and instantaneous conversion of both SM and VX into nontoxic products at room temperature.


Keyword(s)

Sulfur mustard, VX, N,N-dichlorobenzylamine, decontamination, NMR, GC-MS, chemical warfare agents



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