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Proceedings Paper

Thermal sensitivity of biowarfare simulants
Author(s): Eric Holwitt; Johnathan L. Kiel; John L. Alls; Pedro J. Morales; Homer Gifford
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Paper Abstract

In developing high temperature incendiary weapons, the temperature and duration required to inactivate spores is needed information. Three common biowarfare simulants, Bacillus anthracis var Sterne, Bacillus thuringiensis var Kurstaki and Bacillus globigii var niger have been studied for their susceptibility to heat. The spores of all three simulants lose viability when exposed to temperatures between 250 and 300 degree(s)C for 1 second. Bacillus globigii is perhaps the most heat resistant of the three simulants studied, with Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus thuringiensis having similar susceptibilities to heat. Low temperature experiments requiring longer durations were also conducted; over a period of days at 90 degree(s)C. Bacillus anthracis spores can be inactivated. Thermodynamic and kinetic analysis were also performed. An important implication for any high temperature incendiary is the amount of heat or energy the spores absorb between ambient temperatures and 100 degree(s)C. A phase transition occurs centered at 184 degree(s)C for Bacillus thuringiensis. This is also the beginning of a massive weight loss from the spores, as well as a point at which the kinetics of the kill seem to change.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 July 2000
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 4036, Chemical and Biological Sensing, (28 July 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.394072
Show Author Affiliations
Eric Holwitt, Conceptual MindWorks, Inc. (United States)
Johnathan L. Kiel, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
John L. Alls, Veridian, Inc. (United States)
Pedro J. Morales, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Homer Gifford, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4036:
Chemical and Biological Sensing
Patrick J. Gardner, Editor(s)

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