2005 Student Research Conference:
18th Annual Student Research Conference

Science

The Neutralization Of VX By Perhydroxide
Ashley N. Jay
Dr. Eric V. Patterson, Faculty Mentor

The chemical warfare agent O-ethyl-S-(2-diisopropylaminoethyl) methylphosphonothiolate, also known as VX, is a highly toxic nerve agent. VX irreversibly deactivates the acetylcholinesterase enzyme, causing disruptions in the nervous system that lead to convulsions and eventual death. VX is similar to sarin (O-isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate) in structure, but differs in the fact that sarin is completely neutralized by the addition of hydroxide, but VX is not. The reaction of hydroxide with VX results in a mixture, one of the components remaining toxic. The addition of perhydroxide, however, is able to completely neutralize VX. It is unknown why perhydroxide gives complete neutralization of VX, where hydroxide does not. Using computational chemistry, we have modeled the reaction of perhydroxide with VX in an attempt to understand the mechanism of this reaction.

Keywords: VX, nerve agent, neutralization, perhydroxide

Topic(s):Chemistry

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 10-4
Location: VH 1432
Time: 9:00

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