Explosives and chemical agents analysis

We support the Defence sector, enabling them to meet their objective of good environmental stewardship, and assisting contractors in the safe decommissioning and remediation of legacy sites.


Our state-of-the-art facilities are licenced to handle explosives, chemical weapon agent analysis, including other toxic substances in line with regulatory requirements. We analyse a wide range of matrices including soils, sludges, waters, swabs, building materials, tubes and filters for a variety of defence-related contaminants. Our laboratory holds all the required licences to acquire and keep along with suitably licenced on-site storage.

We have an in-house team of subject matter experts with deep expertise to deliver this analysis. We can aid the decommissioning and remediation of contaminated land and buildings, underpinned by ISO/IEC 17025 and MCERTS accredited facilities.

If you require on-site support, our qualified EOD technicians to assist with your projects both nationally and internationally.

Analysing explosives

Legislation and risk-based assessments continue to drive the requirement to test for explosive residues. In support of new planning and remediation projects, we’ve placed more emphasis on lower detection limits and faster response times. Using state-of-the-art instrumentation and analytical techniques, RPS can tailor the analysis package to fit our client’s requirements from on-site clearance through to final confirmatory testing.

We typically test for the following explosives or stabilisers:

  • 2,4 & 2,6-Dinitroethylbenzene
  • 2,4,6-Trinitroethylbenzene
  • 2-Amino-4,6-DNT
  • 2-Nitrosodiphenylamine (2-NDPA)
  • 4-Amino-2,6-DNT
  • Dinitrotoluenes
  • Ethylene glycol dinitrate (EGDN)
  • Ethyl centralite
  • HMX
  • HNS
  • Hydrazine
  • Hydroxylammonium perchlorate (HAP)
  • Methyl centralite
  • Nitro, dinitro and trinitrobenzenes
  • Nitrocellulose (NC)
  • Nitroglycerine (NG)
  • Nitrotoluenes
  • Perchlorate
  • PETN
  • Picric Acid
  • Picrite (nitroguanadine)
  • Polyethylene glycol dinitrate (PGDN)
  • RDX
  • Tetryl
  • 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT)


Analysing chemical agents

Although chemical weapons are no longer permitted and are regulated under the Chemical Weapons Convention, they are still found in areas of former manufacturing, storage and disposal. Every year, several incidents are reported where people have been exposed to these chemicals through contact with buried or sea-dredged ammunition, resulting from World War I or World War II disposal activities.

These chemicals cause severe burns and blisters and are known carcinogens. RPS is licenced by the UK National Authority under the Chemicals Weapons Convention to hold Schedule 1, 2 and 3 chemicals and as well as precursors and degradation products.

We can offer screening and targeted analysis for chemical agents and related chemicals in soil, water, swabs and a variety of other materials. We can provide rapid analysis of materials suspected of containing blister agents and their breakdown products such as:

  • 1,4-Dithiane
  • 1,4-Thioxane
  • Lewisite I, II & III
  • Mustard gas H,Q & T
  • Thiodiglycol

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