Originally Posted by machievelli
With some gases, they are extremely dangerous to store, as the accidents in Utah back in the 60s shows.
To make it safe, the US government during the mid 60s began working on what is called a binary toxin. It is breaking the dangerous molecule into two inert (Or at least non toxic) molecules, with a binder that causes them to reform when combined. The weapon is loaded into a shell or bomb, and when it is fired or dripped the spinning of the shell (Or artificially induced spinning in a bomb) mixes it before release.
There's lots of ways to do this--2 chemicals can just be separated and then when they combine, they react and form something new (and in the military, that means usually something nice and deadly
). They can be 2 separate chemicals mixed already, and when a 3rd chem is introduce, they combine. There can be 2 separate chems, and when there's a catalyst of some kind (or heat, platinum, etc.) introduced, the chems react. The spinning just mixes them a little faster but is not typically necessary with gases unless they're very different in weight or density. They'll eventually mix to reach equilibrium anyway.
And here I was thinking of biological warfare.