UCF given grant to research chemical weapon neutralization

ORLANDO, Fla. — The University of Central Florida is looking into ways to neutralize chemical weapon threats.
A lab at the school is the testing ground for fire and chemical weapons after UCF received a grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to study how to neutralize the weapons.
"We want to know what are these chemical weapon compounds? How do they break apart when you destroy them and what is left over?" Subith Vasu, of the UCF mechanical engineering department, said.
Vasu said they want to know how to properly destroy stockpiles that may be stored overseas by terrorist groups like ISIS, or if a chemical weapons attack occurs in the U.S., how it can be contained.
Vasu said the best answer is fire and he and his team are conducting mini explosions with simulated chemical agents inside a massive tube to see how the two come together.
"Another way you can think of this is as burning and making them into products that are not harmful," Vasu said.
The goal is to determine how much of a toxin would be left behind if a bomb was released.
The unique test is one the DOD is eager to get research on because chemical weapons are already in the wrong hands.
"Think about the worst case scenario. They have access to chemical weapons and they're willing to use that against western forces. We want to make sure the soldiers in our country are safe," Vasu said.
There are no chemical agents on UCF's campus and the test involves simulated compounds.
The grant allows research to continue for five years.