The invention in discussion enhances the protection of materials against materials that are reactive and adsorptive in order to provide multi-functional protection from chemical and biological agents, as well as the methods for using such materials. The invention involves a reactive-adsorptive protective material that comprises an activated carbon bead with adsorptive properties for adsorbing chemical impurities and nanoparticular entities loaded onto the activated carbon bead, to further convey onto the activated carbon, chemically reactive and biocidal properties. Agents of biological warfare include viruses, bacteria, spores and fungi. Size is the main difference between biological agents and chemical agents. Biological agents are larger, measuring about one to a few tenths of a micron, up to multiples of microns for agglomerated colonies of the same. This implies that chemical agents are at least a thousand times less that biological agent species (Axtell, Hartley and Sallavanti 1).
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Chemical warfare agents have been in existence for a long time, and are grouped in three classes namely: blood agents, nerve agents and blister/percutaneous agents. The blister agents attack the skin and mucous membrane tissues that are either internal or external to the human body, causing a fatal blistering and ulceration. Such include Mustard, which takes the form of a liquid or a gas. It can also be stored in an aerosolized carrier. These agents were observed to be readily absorbed by activated carbon when contained within canister beds or fixed within various textile substrates. While in this manner, they were observed to offer the ready capability to absorb such agents and hold them away from vulnerable body areas of the person to be protected. Activated carbon is made as powders, granules, dried slurries, fibers, spherical beads, and it is obtained from various processes performed on organic precursors including organic resins, coconut husks and wood pitch (Axtell, Hartley and Sallavanti 2).
Each of the processes is particular, and can be viewed in the following steps: carbonizing the organic precursor material to carbon of modest internal surface area in the range of tens to hundreds of square meters; and then activating the carbon to produce a carbon with many hundreds to low thousands of m.sup.2/gm of surface area. The carbon produced has strong adsorptive abilities, or the ability to attach to t by chemical attraction. The large surface area of activated carbon is advantageous to provide many places to allow for maximum attachment. The process involves attaching various chemicals that pass next to the carbon surface, therefore trapping them. The carbons used should be fixed within a carrier substrate in order to be rendered into a useful form. The fixing can be done through adhesion or entrapment or any other means of fixing the carbon on the carrier. It should be done precisely, to ensure minimal obfuscation of the valuable surface area by the fixation process (Axtell, Hartley and Sallavanti 2).
To obtain a preferable image for a combination of blood agent neutralization and biocially reactive and chemically absorptive protection, carbon CarboTex beads is initially wettlerized, before processing to load nanoparticles. Use of the preferred carbon beads causes the treatment to combine the qualities of the carbon’s hyperadsorptivity, metallic ions’ avidity for blood agent chemistries, and chemically reactive and biocidalnanoparticular entities (ordinarily difficult to physically handle alone but easier when supported in the carbon bead carrier) into one spherical entity of macroscopic dimension (e.g., about 0.4 mm diameter, but tuneable in size randomly depending on the choice of dimension of the precursor ion exchange resin bead used) (Axtell, Hartley and Sallavanti 9).
The nanoparticles can be loaded into any type, form or shape of activated carbon, whereby loading means an infusion or wettlerization process to place metal ions on an activated carbon adsorbent. Nerve agents and blood agents can also be efficiently absorbed by carbon of high surface area with the same carbon process and fixation considerations. Though activated carbon is effective in capturing carbon-based impurities and chlorine, many other chemicals (sodium, nitrates, etc.) are not attracted to carbon at all, and therefore pass through unabsorbed, which implies that the activated carbon filter is selectively removes the impurities (Axtell, Hartley and Sallavanti 2).
Axtell, Holly C., Scott M. Hartley and Robert A. Sallavanti. “Multi-Functional Protective Materials.” United States Patent (2007): 1-9. Print.