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Title: Porous materials for protection against Chemical Warfare Agents (CWAs)
Author: Wilson, Craig J.
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2019
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The Chemicals Weapons Convention, effective since 1997, has helped to reduce the proliferation of chemical warfare agents (CWAs). However, despite 193 states being bound by this agreement, there are countries who continue to produce, stockpile and use CWAs. Incidents involving CWAs, whether in conflict, terrorism or assassination such as the attempted assassination which occurred in Salisbury, UK, in 2018 highlight the continuing need to control the production, stockpiling and use of CWAs. Decontamination of CWA stockpiles is therefore of significant interest. One potential way to achieve this is by using porous materials as sorbents in order to allow for the bulk uptake and deactivation of CWA stockpiles. In this work, the use of hypercrosslinked polymers (HCPs), which represent a class of such sorbents, that are produced using a facile and tuneable 'knitting' procedure are explored for this application. The performance of the HCPs for the uptake of CWAs are investigated using simulants due to the lethal toxicity of the CWAs, prior to testing of the best performing polymers against CWAs including sarin (GB) and sulfur mustard (HD) (Figure 1). Routes to allow for the chemical decontamination of CWAs are then investigated by screening a range of nitrogen containing bases against a nerve agent simulant, methyl paraoxon (MP) and CWAs, GB and VX. This led to the development of hydroxide containing polymers derived from a range of porous organic polymers (POPs), including hypercrosslinked polymers (HCPs), conjugated microporous polymers (CMPs), and porous aromatic frameworks (PAFs), and conventional hydroxide resins. Finally, methods to combine physical and chemical decontamination of CWAs are explored using HCPs and hydroxide containing polymers, respectively, to create effective absorbents to immobilise and breakdown CWA stockpiles, under practically relevant conditions.
Supervisor: Cooper, Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral