MuniRem Environmental, LLC was recently invited by USAESC Huntsville, AL, to participate in independently planned and supervised testing of MuniRem for neutralization and destruction of explosives in building materials. The client intended the tests to finalize the acceptance of MuniRem technology for the planned decontamination of a number of large buildings that are currently unsafe for demolition due to explosive contamination. An independent environmental consulting firm was retained by the client to review the test design and to record and supervise the tests.
The tests were a complete success. MuniRem was seen to completely neutralize the target explosives in seconds to minutes in the lab and to rapidly penetrate building wall sections in order to reach the target explosive residues.
The testing was carried out in two phases. Phase One demonstrated MuniRem's effectiveness in neutralizing the explosives lead styphnate (LS) and 2,4,6-trinitroresorcinol (TNR) in laboratory conditions. Phase Two demonstrated its effectiveness in simulated real world conditions - where the product had to penetrate wall cracks and crevices, reaching interior surfaces of walls, including Asbestos Containing Siding.
TNR and LS were obtained from official sources and defined solutions prepared. MuniRem was prepared in three formulations. The MuniRem solutions were mixed with the target solutions in glass beakers. A color change occurred when MuniRem contacted the yellow aqueous TNR solution.
Multiple trials showed that MuniRem degraded 1950 and 4300 mg/L TNR in solution at ambient temperature to below detectable limits (10ppb) at all concentrations. This was similar to the results of previous testing of MuniRem on ammonium picrate from demilitarized munitions that formerly contained Explosive D.
In the case of tests on LS, High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) analysis was used to determine residual LS in solution. 100mg/L solutions of LS were mixed with 15%, 1.5% and 0.15% solutions of MuniRem. In all three cases, LS was beneath the detectable level (1.5mg/L) within 5 minutes.
The independent consulting firm had prepared a number of 4' x 8' wall sections to mimic the construction of the contaminated buildings, made of timber framing with a variety of wall claddings. pH strips were installed at target locations in the simulated walls to detect the presence of MuniRem. MuniRem was applied by spraying through holes made in the walls and left to penetrate for 16 hours.
The walls were disassembled and examined. Color changes in the pH strips and white residue in cracks and crevices showed that MuniRem had penetrated the walls in a way that would insure the neutralization of explosive residues using simple spraying equipment.
The client, the contractor and MuniRem Environmental were all satisfied that this well designed and executed test scheme had perfectly demonstrated that MuniRem will be an effective method for decontamination of buildings contaminated with LS and TNR.