Nalas team to conduct research aimed to defeat weapons of mass destruction!

Nalas is excited to have been selected for award for our first project with The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)! The forthcoming award will provide research funding under the Small Business Technical Transfer Program.

DTRA‘s Basic Research Program, Thrust Area 4 supports research to defeat weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). If intelligence information reveals that hostile powers and terrorist organizations may be in possession of dangerous WMDs, the US DoD requires robust ways of neutralizing these threats. Unfortunately, the weapons currently available to the DoD do not offer a way for the WMD to be destroyed without risking the spread of that material throughout the area. The desired type of weapon would enable the United States to neutralize WMD threats while minimizing the risk to population centers near the WMDs. In general, the strategy for the defeat of biological weapons is to use a nanoenergetic formulation that produces high heat in conjunction with a biocide to destroy residual biological agent in the plume. This two-pronged approach can be effective in destroying biological weapons such as anthrax.

The research that DTRA has funded to date has led to the identification of Iodic acid (HI3O8) as a material that could defeat biological weapons. Although research into this novel chemical reagent has created interest in the material, it is not commercially available, and its preparation has been a bottleneck for the development of this material into an ordnance item for WMD defeat. In order for this material to be successfully incorporated into a weapon system, a cost-beneficial manufacturing process which produces very consistent composition of product and particle size must be demonstrated. The main objective of this Phase I effort is to develop the necessary manufacturing processes to produce HI3O8 for use to reliably destroy biological-agent targets that could pose a threat to global security.

As part of this STTR effort, we will be collaborating with the academic group of Dr. Tim Weihs at Johns Hopkins University.

This project allows Nalas another opportunity to showcase our specialty niche for developing cost-effective manufacturing processes and transitioning them for scale-up to commercial production. We are proud to participate on this effort to make our troops and civilians safer from these threats.