The Silver II process uses silver ions - charged atoms - and nitric acid to break the organic material from which chemical weapons are made down to harmless carbon dioxide, water and inorganic salts., which is either vented to the atmosphere, recycled or disposed of as industrial waste.
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Scientists have developed a new process to help countries destroy huge stockpiles of chemical weapons. Nations which have ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention, which comes into force tomorrow, will have 10 years to get rid of their arsenals, which is usually done by incineration. But this produces toxic pollutants and is potentially hazardous, and a British company has come up with a solution which is said to be both safe and environmentally friendly.