U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Carlos G. Fraga

Carlos G. Fraga
Principle Investigator

Dr. Carlos G. Fraga is a Senior Research Scientist in the Chemical and Biological Signature Science Group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Dr. Fraga joined PNNL after 12 years as an U.S. Air Force officer. While in the Air Force, Dr. Fraga managed and performed research dealing with the sampling, detection, and fate of chemical weapon related compounds. He also taught chemistry at the Air Force Academy including a course on chemical weapons (CW), and led a 13-member radiochemical separations group that processed samples for subsequent analyses of radionuclides using various radiation detectors and mass spectrometers. Early in his military career, Dr. Fraga was a UN inspector in Iraq. He has extensive knowledge and experience in the development of chemometric and two-dimensional chromatographic methods for the analysis of trace organic compounds in complex mixtures. His recent focus has been in the area of chemical forensics for sourcing CW agents and explosives. He has published seven peer-reviewed papers in chemical forensics for the Department of Homeland Security Chemical Forensics Program including a paper demonstrating for the first time the use of chemical forensics on a CW agent. Dr. Fraga is a strong advocate for making chemical forensics a legitimate scientific discipline so that it may deter future chemical attacks or can be used in court in the unfortunate event that it is needed. He has presented his chemical forensics work as an invited speaker at several international scientific conferences and has been featured by National Public Radio, PBS Nova-online, and by other news-media outlets. He co-hosted three symposiums on chemical forensics at the American Chemical Society’s national meetings in Denver (2011), Indianapolis (2013), and Boston (2015). 


2000 Ph.D., Analytical Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

1995 M.S., Chemistry, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL

1993 B.S., Chemistry, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO


2005-present: Senior Research Scientist Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Richland, WA

2005-Feb 2014: Reserve lieutenant colonel working for the Air Force Research Laboratory, CA

1993-2005: Active-Duty Officer in the United States Air Force


2015, Aug        American Chemical Society Annual Meeting, Session on Chemical Forensics, Boston, MA

2013, Oct         Analytical Chemistry Seminar, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

2013, Sep         American Chemical Society Annual Meeting, Session on Chemical Forensics, Indianapolis, IN

2013, May        37th International Symposium on Capillary Chromatography, Palm Springs, CA, Keynote speaker

2012, Oct         SCIX 2012, Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies, Keynote speaker for symposium“On the Scent: Vapor and Aroma Analysis for Forensic and Security Applications”, Kansas City, MO

2011, Sep         American Chemical Society Annual Meeting, Session on Analytical Methods for Chemical Forensics, Denver, CO

2011, May        35th International Symposium on Capillary Chromatography, San Diego, CA

2010, Nov         Center for Process Analytical Chemistry Fall Meeting, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

2009, Aug        Department of Energy Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship, 2009 Technical Forum, Keynote speaker, Houston, TX


B. Kehimkar, J. C. Hoggard, L. C. Marney, M. C. Billingsley, C. G. Fraga, T. J. Bruno, R. E. Synovec, “Correlation of rocket propulsion fuel properties with chemical composition using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry followed by partial least squares regression analysis”, Journal of Chromatography A, 1327, 2014, 132-140.

C. G. Fraga, J.C. Hoggard, G. A. Pérez Acosta, L. Sego, E. Viglino , J.H. Wahl, R. E. Synovec, “Preliminary Effects of Real-World Factors on the Recovery and Exploitation of Forensic Impurity Profiles of a Nerve-Agent Simulant from Office Media”,  Journal of Chromatography A, 1270, 2012, 269-282.

C. R. Orton, C. G. Fraga, R. N. Christensen, J.  M. Schwantes, “Proof of Concept Simulations of the Multi-Isotope Process Monitor: An Online, Non-Destructive, Near-Real-Time Safeguards Monitor for Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Facilities”, Nuclear Inst. and Methods in Physics Research A, 672, 2012, 38-45.

J. M. Schwantes, S.A. Bryan, C. R. Orton, T. G. Levitskaia, S. H. Pratt, C. G. Fraga, J. B. Coble, “Advanced Process Monitoring Safeguards Technologies at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory”, Procedia Chemistry, 7, 2012, 716-724.

C. G. Fraga, G. A. Pérez Acosta, M. D. Crenshaw, K. Wallace, G. M. Mong, H. A Colburn, “Impurity Profiling to Match a Nerve Agent to its Precursor Source for Chemical Forensics Applications”, Analytical Chemistry, 83, 2011, 9564-9572.

C. G. Fraga, J. H. Wahl, S. P. Núñez, “Profiling of Volatile Impurities in Tetramethylenedisulfotetramine (TETS) for Synthetic-Route Determination”, Forensic Science International, 210, 2011, 164-169.

C.G. Fraga, O.T. Farmer, A.J. Carman, “Anionic Forensic Signatures for Sample Matching of Potassium Cyanide Using High Performance Ion Chromatography and Chemometrics”, Talanta, 83, 2011, 1166-1172.

C. G. Fraga, R. J. Moore, B. H. Clowers, E. M. Zink, G. M. Mong, “Signature-Discovery Approach for Sample Matching of a Nerve-Agent Precursor Using Liquid Chromatography−Mass Spectrometry, XCMS, and Chemometrics”, Analytical Chemistry,82, 2010, 4165-4173.

J. C. Hoggard, J. H. Wahl, R. E. Synovec, G. M. Mong, C. G. Fraga, “Impurity Profiling of a Chemical Weapon Precursor for Possible Forensic Signatures by Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry and Chemometrics”, Analytical Chemistry 82, 2010, 689-698.

C.G. Fraga, D.R. Kerr, D. A. Atkinson, “Improved Quantitative Analysis of Ion Mobility Spectrometry by Chemometric Multivariate Calibration” Analyst, vol.134, pg. 232-2337, 2009.

C. G. Fraga, A. M. Melville, and B. W. Wright, “ROC-curve approach for determining the detection limit of a field chemical sensor,” Analyst, vol. 132, pg. 230–236, 2007.

C. G. Fraga, C. A. Corley, “The Chemometric Resolution and Quantification of Overlapped Peaks from Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Liquid Chromatography,” Journal of Chromatography A, vol. 1096, pg. 40-49, 2005.

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