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Testing and Evaluation with Decades of Expertise, World-Class Laboratories

Defense Human Health

Chemical Warfare Agent and Toxic Industrial Chemical T&E Studies

More than 100 years after chemical warfare agents were first deployed on the battlefields of World War I, traditional and emerging chemical agents and toxic industrial chemicals remain a threat to members of the military and the civilian population. This makes it critical that these and other threats are effectively detected, mitigated, and the sites where they are used decontaminated to reduce the risk. Our teams have decades of expertise and world-class laboratories to support the testing and evaluation studies to address these and other threats. 

Testing & evaluation in MRIGlobal's laboratories.

Chemical Warfare Agent Detection
MRIGlobal has long standing expertise in chemical warfare agent detection technologies research, development, testing, and evaluation. For decades, our research scientists and engineers have tested and assessed hundreds of detection and decontamination technologies against chemical agents, toxic industrial chemicals (TICs), toxic industrial materials (TIMs), explosives, bio-threat agents, and emerging threats. These evaluations and demonstrations have included the areas of sampling, real-time detection, decontamination and benchtop analytical method development. Examples of benchtop, handheld and mobile detection systems evaluated by MRIGlobal include: 

  • Near-real-time agent monitors with flame photometric and halogen specific detection; 
  • Portable gas chromatography/mass spectrometry devices; 
  • Numerous ion mobility spectrometry systems; 
  • Optical spectroscopic devices; and,  
  • Colorimetric, surface acoustic wave, and X-ray fluorescence detectors

Development of Chemical Detection Libraries
Before that equipment goes into the field, it must first be tested and evaluated to ensure that it will work as intended and when it is needed. That’s when our development of chemical detection libraries for use in the testing and evaluation of their detection equipment is critically important.  

A chemical detection library is a collection of unique chemical signatures that enables the highly specific identification of a chemical. These libraries are built by analyzing replicates of known chemicals with referenced purities, under known conditions. The chemical library is then used as the reference for testing and field use. As our team tests and evaluates chemical detection equipment by analyzing a substance, they check the result against a chemical library to determine an identity. This work then helps validate the accuracy and efficacy of detection equipment, ensuring that it works as intended once it’s in the field. Read more about our work in “Sugar or Fentanyl? Chemical Detection Libraries to Support Testing and Evaluation.” 

Field Testing Demonstrations
MRIGlobal has also set up and organized full scale field tests at the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, the Nevada National Security Site, and many other locations. These field programs involved large scale disseminations of surrogates for evaluation of sampling devices, real-time detectors, plume mapping, and plume tracking devices. MRIGlobal performed all aspects of these field test demonstrations, including arranging rental of the site, packing all necessary equipment for shipping to the site, setup all dissemination, ground-truth, and devices to be tested at the site, site cleanup, and packing of all equipment for shipment back to MRIGlobal.   

World-Class Testing and Evaluation Laboratories
MRIGlobal has world-class laboratories and equipment to perform any test and evaluation study of any experimental design. With all the necessary laboratories, vapor and dissemination chambers, analytical equipment for ground truth analysis, and the highly trained and experienced staff, we perform studies safely and quickly to keep costs low. 

Chemical Agent Facility
All testing with neat, high concentration chemical agents is performed in MRIGlobal’s Chemical Agent (CA) Facility. This facility is maintained and operated by dedicated staff certified in the U.S. Army contractor Personnel Reliability Program (cPRP). MRIGlobal also has very stringent training and safety requirements that all agent staff must meet prior to performing any operation with neat material. 

Housed in thousands of square feet of laboratory space, this facility is divided into various labs certified for operation of neat chemical agent reference materials and labs for handling dilute chemical agent solutions. Additionally, MRIGlobal has more than 20 internal laboratories capable of handling dilute chemical agent solutions, TICs, TIMs, narcotics, and explosives.  

This facility is fully equipped to perform a wide variety of testing and research activities using neat CA.  These activities include permeation testing, vapor and aerosol generation, purification and synthesis, kinetic determinations, transport and fate determinations, decontamination testing, vapor and contact hazard testing, CA purity determinations, and evaluations of new and innovative instrumental techniques for the detection of CA. This capability includes testing of CA compounds, precursors and degradation products. 

Development of standards for the degradation, destruction, and neutralization of such chemical threats will provide us with a better understanding of the efficacy of individual products and provide manufacturers with claims they can make in marketing those products. Standardized definitions regarding the degradation, destruction, and neutralization for chemical threats will provide manufacturers with a basis for making product claims, while providing those responsible for cleaning contaminated sites with assurance that their job is done effectively. Read more in “Developing Standards for Degradation, Destruction, and Neutralization.”  

An extensive array of equipment and analytical instrumentation is available for testing and research using CA and degradation products. Additional test equipment is maintained in the facility for general-purpose laboratory activities. This equipment includes analytical balances, pH meters, permeation tubes, specific ion meters, water baths, ovens, refrigerators, sampling equipment, incubators, and sample preparation equipment. 

Dilute laboratories offer additional analytical capability for dilute chemical agent and toxic industrial chemical testing. This equipment includes:    

  • Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometry  
  • Low- and high-resolution GC-MS systems 
  • GCxGC-TOF and GC2 – TOFMS 
  • LC-MS-MS systems 
  • GC systems equipped with FID, FPD, PFPD, and ECD 
  • HPLC systems    
  • Ion chromatography systems 
  • FTIR and Raman Microscopes 

Chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals remain a threat to members of the military and civilian populations. Our decades of expertise and world-class laboratories support the testing and evaluation of the equipment needed to effectively detect, mitigate, and decontaminate these threats.  


Contact MRIGlobal to learn more about our work in defense against chemical and biological threats. We partner with our clients to test and evaluate current methods to detect, prevent, decontaminate, protect, and destroy these materials. 

If you are part of an agency, business, or academic institution seeking assistance with a project, use our Project Quote Tool to get started. 

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