Army funding decontamination wipe

The Institute of Environmental and Human Health at the Lubbock, Texas-based Texas Tech University has been granted a $1.1 million research award from the U.S. Army including funding for the Fibertect non-woven decontamination wipe.
The award is part of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command to fund the Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr. National Program for Countermeasures to Biological and Chemical Threats, Textile World reports. Fibertect was developed by Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar in 2005 to meet the Department of Defense's need for a wipe that could absorb and neutralize gases and liquids that might be used in chemical warfare.
The process used to make Fibertect has since received a U.S. patent and is now used by the U.S. military to manufacture a low-cost decontamination wipe. The TIEHH team re-engineered the wipe last year to soak up oil in the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion and sinking of BP's Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010 off the coast of Louisiana.
"One of the objectives that the Army's Research, Development and Engineering Command encourages is for us to take these technologies we develop for military applications and make them commercially viable where they can transfer to the civilian population for responders on the domestic side," Steve Presley, a research coordinator for the Zumwalt program, said, according to Textile World. "The post-9/11 world has kind of matured, and there are always newer threats. It's always evolving. One role that the Zumwalt program plays is to help the military adapt to the changing threat landscape."