Scientists at a U.S. Army research lab in Natick, Mass. developed and patented a novel chemical system that is now being used to sterilize medical equipment and electronic items used in the treatment of patients on the front lines of the war on Ebola in West Africa. This came about through the transfer of the technology from the Army lab to a privately held company, ClorDiSys Solutions, which now produces, packages, and markets the solution on a worldwide basis.
One of the key research thrusts at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center is the discovery and development of decontamination technologies to keep the Warfighter healthy and safe from bioterror attack. Natick’s invention is a portable “no power required” method of generating chlorine dioxide (ClO2) gas, one of the best biocides available for combating contaminants that range from benign microbes and food pathogens to Category A Bioterror agents.
The starting ingredients used to generate ClO2 are now produced and marketed by Lebanon, New Jersey-based ClorDiSys Solutions, and they can be quickly mobilized and applied as a gas to decontaminate or sterilize equipment and surfaces.
Dr. Christopher Doona, the lead inventor of this field-portable method for generating ClO2, is a senior research chemist at the center known locally as Natick Labs with extensive experience in ClO2 reaction chemistry. Doona and his team are credited with inventing and perfecting this process of converting dry powder chemicals into ClO2.
Doona says an important exponent of ClO2 is its versatility as a disinfectant suitable for any industry ranging from textiles, medicine, wastewater treatment and public health, to food safety, personal hygiene, and household uses. ClO2 can be activated in small or large quantities and in varying strength levels from potent enough to sterilize medical instruments to mild enough to use in toothpaste to fight off germs in the mouth Source: company press release
Chlorine dioxide has many applications. It is used in the electronics industry to clean circuit boards, in the oil industry to treat sulfides and to bleach textile and candles. In World War II, chlorine became scarce and chlorine dioxide was used as a bleach.
Nowadays chlorine dioxide is used most often to bleach paper. It produces a clearer and stronger fiber than chlorine does. Chlorine dioxide has the advantage that it produces less harmful byproducts than chlorine.
Chlorine dioxide gas is used to sterilize medical and laboratory equipment, surfaces, rooms and tools.
Chlorine dioxide can be used as oxidizer or disinfectant. It is a very strong oxidizer and it effectively kills pathogenic microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria and viruses. It also prevents and removes bio film. As a disinfectant and pesticide it is mainly used in liquid form. Chlorine dioxide can also be used against anthrax, because it is effective against spore-forming bacteria. Read more:
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