Biological Degradation of Chemical Agents
Agency / Branch:
DOD / DARPA
Current methods used for the destruction of CW agents are cumbersome, require extensive capital equipment such as incinerators and water reactors and pose potential environmental problems themselves. A novel approach for the destruction of CW agentsinvolves genetically engineering microorganisms to produce recombinant enzymes that can efficiently degrade CW agents. Such a system would allow these toxic compounds to be efficiently degraded to harmless products. There are a number of advantages to abiological based system for degrading CW agents. First, a properly designed biological system would be easy to use by non-science personnel, such as Special Operation units of the armed forces. Also, a biological-based system would be cost effectivebecause it would be self-generating, and due to their catalytic nature, each enzyme molecule can degrade many molecules of a CW agent. Agave BioSystems proposes to develop a biologically based system for the efficient and safe destruction of CW agents,particularly the non-volatile persistent substances such as VX. This effort involves the development of a genetically engineered microbial system based on the efficient CW degrading enzyme organophosphate hydrolase (OPH).
Small Business Information at Submission:
AGAVE BIOSYSTEMS, INC.
P.O. Box 80010 Austin, TX 78708
Number of Employees: