Guide for Characterization of Sites Contaminated with Energetic Materials
APPENDIX H: COLORIMETRIC FIELD METHODS
There are several field colorimetric methods for detecting explosive con-
taminants that are present on most military sites. This document covers a visual
screening method (Mistral Security, Inc., Expray Kit, Israel) and two spectro-
photometric methods (Jenkins 1990, Grant et al. 1991, Walsh and Jenkins 1991,
Jenkins and Walsh 1992, Walsh et al. 1993, Myers et al. 1994, Ampleman et al.
2000). All of these EM detection methods result in colored end products that can
be easily monitored by visual inspection or with the use of a portable spectro-
photometric device. TNT, 2,4-DNT, TNB, RDX, HMX, NG, PETN, tetryl, and
picric acid are all detected by using one or a combination of these techniques.
This document will focus on the determination of TNT and RDX, because these
explosives are the major ingredients in nearly all military munitions. Most sites
can be adequately evaluated by employing this approach (Walsh et al. 1993,
Table H1). One exception, however, is the investigation of production facilities,
where these methods could be used to characterize for 2,4-DNT, TNB, DNB,
tetryl, picric acid, and HMX. Moreover, a greater emphasis is placed on the on-
sives residues in soil samples at various sites
using Method 8330.