MuniRem® Completes Chemical Decontamination of Explosives-Contaminated Building Fixtures and Equipment at an Active Ammunition Production Plant
November 20th, 2017 - by MuniRem Environmental, LLC | Share on:
A 1,750-square-foot former 2,4,6-trinitroresorcinol (TNR) production building at an active Army Ammunition Plant was slated for demolition/removal. TNR was manufactured in this structure until the 1970s, when the building was closed to further use. During the manufacturing process, TNR laden vapor permeated the building materials. The explosive vapor condensed and crystallized on the surfaces and the interior of the wood frame walls and cracks. The crystal residues were determined to be an explosive shock hazard. Because Lead Styphnate was manufactured in a neighboring building, it was included among the potential explosives of concern. Due to the building's explosive hazard risk and its proximity to other nearby active munition production buildings, the building was not approved by state regulators for normal demolition. The ability to remove asbestos from inside and out of the facility was precluded by the presence of explosives residues and the potential for explosion. Due to regulatory concern over the inability to meet safety requirements, the USEPA and the United States Department of Defense commissioned an Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis (EE/CA) to identify a safer and cost-effective solution.
Of the five different technologies evaluated by the EE/CA, MuniRem was determined to be the safest and most cost-effective solution for removing the explosive hazard, so that the building demolition could be safely accomplished. The evaluation of MuniRem included a bench scale and pilot test conducted at the Army's ERDC laboratory in Vicksburg, Mississippi, USA. At the full scale, the MuniRem solution was prepared and sprayed on the building exterior and interior fixtures to achieve surface decontamination. Therefore, the asbestos contaminated materials were safely removed for disposal. The MuniRem solution was sprayed into production vessels and pipes to destroy any accumulated bulk explosive. EXPRAY and Visual Inspection were used to confirm the complete removal of the explosive hazard by MuniRem. As a result, the building fixtures and concrete foundation were safely demolished and disposed per the regulations.
Concentrated MuniRem solutions were sprayed on the exterior and interior of the building to destroy the bulk and residual explosives. The decontamination was completed ahead of schedule and on budget; significantly below the cost of thermal decontamination. The MuniRem solution was effective in penetrating and destroying crystallized explosives in wall cavities and cracks in the concrete floor. The remediation of the explosives contaminated soil below the concrete was unnecessary because the aqueous solution of MuniRem reagent penetrated cracks in the concrete floor and destroyed the explosives underneath. Although the Explosive Safety Submission (ESS) approved by the Department of Defense Explosive Safety Board (DDESB) approved the use of explosives and thermal decontamination to achieve an MDAS level of decontamination, chemical decontamination with MuniRem reagent alone achieved MDAS. After more than twenty years of seeking a safe solution to decontaminate the building, the MuniRem solution proved to be that evasive solution.
About MuniRem Environmental, LLC
MuniRem Environmental, LLC (MRE) provides successfully applied green and cost-effective solutions for neutralization of energetics in support of demilitarization, decontamination of facilities, removal of explosive risks posed by bulk explosives, and remediation of various organic and inorganic contaminants in soil and water. MRE's core technology, MuniRem®, is the first demonstrated and award winning technology that achieves safe instant neutralization of bulk explosives at ambient temperature.