Further Studies into the Feasibility of Using Aqueous Alum Solutions in the Destruction of VX

Document Type


Publication Date



The destruction of phosphorus based chemical warfare agents using aqueous buffer mixtures of aluminum sulfate (alum) and sodium aluminate is pursued. The production of VX (O-ethyl-S-[2-(diisopropylamino)ethyl]-methylphos-phonothiolate) hydrolysis products ethyl methyl phosphonic acid (EMPA), an aluminum complex of EMPA, and S-[2-(diisopropylamino)ethyl]methylphosphonothiolate (EA-2192) is characterized in acidic and basic alum buffers. The study employs ^{31}P high resolution magic angle nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (HRMAS NMR) for both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The acidic buffer results in a slower reaction rate and is less effective than the basic buffer.