Design of a Mobile Hazardous Materials Treatment Unit

Fuss & O'Neill

Fuss & O’Neill Team (clockwise from lower left): Sarah Breen, Krysten Oates, Sarah Mahon, Sara Green

2005-2006: In collaboration with Fuss & O’Neill, this student team designed a mobile hazardous materials treatment unit for use in emergency response situations.  In biological attack emergencies, for example, professional and volunteer emergency responders utilize mass decontamination trailers that use gallons of water to rinse biological agents from contaminated victims. This wash-water, including dirt, soap and biological agents, accumulates in storage tanks and is eventually sent to the local Public Owned Treatment Works.

The goal of the mobile hazardous materials treatment unit (MHMTU) is to enhance the decontamination process by continually treating and disposing of wash-water on-site.  It will neutralize biological agents, thereby eliminating potential for further infection, and it will multi-methodically treat the solution for safe disposal into nearby drains. The team designed the functionality and layout of the MHMTU system, integrating commercially available components and ensuring compatibility with the current mass decontamination trailers.  The final design was a mobile, user-friendly unit that will interface with the decontamination trailers to improve upon the post-biological-attack decontamination process.