Date of Award

May 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Member

Carlos D Garcia

Committee Member

Daniel Whitehead

Committee Member

Kenneth Marcus

Committee Member

Rakesh Sachdeva


The thermal decomposition of chemical warfare agent simulants via a novel and simple approach is reported. Utilizing pyrolyzed cotton balls as a substrate for the delivery of an incendiary agent into a bulk volume of mustard and nerve agent simulants, significant enhancements in the burning rates were achieved. Under ambient conditions, this method was able to thermally decompose simulants for both HD (sulfur mustard) and GB (sarin) series chemical warfare agents at rates up to 3.1 ± 0.4 g. min-1 and 1.9 ± 1.0 g. min-1, respectively. The approach proposes a simple and more cost-effective way to decompose these dangerous substances under ambient conditions with the use of a wicking substrate rather than high temperature incineration equipment or chemical treatments.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.