MuniRem® Application Provides Safe Access for Army EOD Tech Operations

CBI Explosion in Camp Minden

Engagement details

Client: Louisiana Military Department
Site: Camp Minden, Louisiana, USA
Task: Stabilization of Highly Unstable Clean Burning Igniter (CBI) by MuniRem®
Date: October 2016

Situation

Following an explosion in a storage magazine used to store Clean Burning Igniter (CBI) at Camp
Minden, Louisiana, a decision was made by the Louisiana Military Department (LMD) and the United
States Department of the Army to quickly dispose of the remaining CBI in two other magazines on
base. The remaining two magazines held 200,000 pounds of CBI, along with 40,000 pounds of M6
propellant. The approved method of disposal was by initiating a controlled burn. In order to initiate the
controlled burn safely, the explosive risks presented by any potential residual explosive
accumulations by the magazine door, cavities and floor needed to be removed. Removing the
explosive risks in the door cavities and entrance into the magazine would allow for the doors to be
opened safely.

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel from the Army’s 797th Ordnance Company and 79th
Ordnance Battalion from Fort Hood, Texas, was assigned the mission to execute the controlled burn
of the explosives. MuniRem Environmental was contracted by the LMD to apply its MuniRem solution
on the magazine doors and floors to create safe passage for the EOD team to perform the controlled
burn.

Solution

After a thorough review of the chemistry of decomposing unstable nitrocellulose (CBI) a customized
formulation of MuniRem® was developed, prepared and shipped to the site in powder form. The
MuniRem powder was dissolved in water to prepare a concentrated (i.e., high strength) MuniRem
solution that was sprayed to the magazine doors. The application of the MuniRem solution to each
magazine door and floor was performed at least eight hours before the EOD team remotely opened
the door.

Result

The MuniRem treatment was effective in eliminating the explosive risk in the door surfaces, cavities,
magazine entrance and floor. The applied MuniRem stabilized the CBI and also neutralized and
destroyed any picric acid formed when the stabilizing compound in nitrocellulose (diphenylammine)
decomposes. A visible color change and fizzing was observed when the MuniRem solution contacted
the surfaces, confirming the presence of explosives undergoing neutralization. The EOD Techs
remotely opened the magazine doors without an unintended detonation and ignited the CBI. The
success of this and other projects have confirmed the efficacy of our MuniRem solution in removing
explosive risks in support of EOD tasks.

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