Solid Decontamination (Decon) Blend

The Army-patented Solid Decontamination (Decon) Blend offers superior capability to neutralize biological and chemical threats such as nerve gas, opioids, and anthrax pathogens. A collaborative research team created by the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (CCDC CBC) developed and tested the dry decontamination blend as part of the Army laboratory’s ongoing search for easily deployed advanced countermeasures against harmful chemical and biological agents. It is effective against a broad spectrum of microorganisms and chemicals that have the potential to harm military and civilian populations.

The CCDC CBC team was largely responsible for transferring the Decon technology to a new startup company, MQM Solutions, Inc., of Cleveland, Ohio, which was created specifically to commercialize the Army technology. A Patent Licensing Agreement (PLA) and Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), both signed in early 2019, quickly led to further research and development and field testing to yield the Army-patented decontaminant now on the commercial market.

The speed with which the Decon tech transfer succeeded was exceptional by any measure. The two partners signed the CRADA January 30, 2019, the patent licensing agreement February 25, and, in June MQM Solutions sold its first Decon-based commercial product. The impressive timeline of Decon’s transition to commercial on-the-shelf product not only personified the CBC’s technology transfer (T2) culture of agile responsiveness, it also reflected the laser-focus determination of the MQM cofounders and their resolute belief in the technology’s value to commercial users. Both partners in this transfer quickly seized the opportunities presented, refusing to allow a promising but neglected technology to languish unused.

The unique Decon chemical formulation—now available in packets as a dry powder easily reconstituted with any water source—reduces weight and volume by 90 percent compared to most conventional liquid decontamination products like hypochlorite solutions (bleach) or hydrogen peroxide-based products. The Decon technology also addresses other problems with available decontaminant liquids, namely, the use, storage, and transport of such liquids create logistical and HAZMAT challenges. Many are typically corrosive to multiple materials, can prove less efficacious, exhibit unsatisfactory materials compatibility (e.g., plastics, paints), require measuring multi-part additions to activate, mandate special packaging, or are unstable without controlled transportation and storage systems.

The need for an effective, more advanced, and efficient decontaminant was great. The Army CCDC CBC and its industry partner, MQM Solutions, answered the call in record time.

Contact: Amanda Hess, (410) 436-5406, amanda.l.hess9.civ@mail.mil 

Award Year: 
Region: 
Mid-Atlantic