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Pure Appl. Chem.
74(12), 2259-2263, 2002
Pure and Applied
Vol. 74, Issue 12
Trends in processing and manufacturing that will affect implementation
of the Chemical Weapons Convention
G. W. Parshall
E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company (retired), 2504
Delaware Ave., Wilmington, DE 19806, USA
Several new developments in synthesis science and manufacturing technology
may affect the task of implementing the Chemical Weapons Convention
(CWC) constraints on the production of toxic agents for military or
terrorist purposes. The combination of automated synthesis methods and
high-throughput screening protocols could potentially yield new toxic
agents not specifically proscribed by the CWC, but such approaches are
unlikely to seriously impact the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition
of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in the near future. On the other hand, new
developments in manufacturing may have a serious impact on the work
of the OPCW inspectors. The wide use of versatile, multipurpose production
facilities in making fine chemicals complicates the task of discerning
whether a particular facility is used only for nonprohibited purposes
under the CWC. New catalytic processes and automated process control
permit production of toxic chemicals with fewer emissions that contaminate
the environment and might provide clues to the nature of the processes
being conducted. Tiny microreactors operated continuously under computer
control can produce significant quantities of toxic chemicals (including
CWC scheduled compounds) with a very small footprintwithin
a larger production facility. These technical developments together
with the dispersal of chemical production facilities and skills may
seriously complicate the tasks of the OPCW inspectors.
*Lecture presented at the IUPAC Workshop, Impact of
Scientific Developments on the Chemical Weapons Convention, Bergen,
Norway, 30 June-3 July 2002. Other presentations are published in this
issue, pp. 2229-2322.
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