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Title: Laboratory studies of soil sorption/transformation of TNT, RDX, and HMX
Authors: Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, La.)
AScI Corporation.
Installation Restoration Research Program (U.S.)
Myers, Tommy E.
Brannon, James M.
Pennington, Judith C.
Davis, William M.
Myers, Karen F.
Townsend, Daniel M.
Ochman, Michael.
Hayes, Charolett A.
Keywords: HMX
Soil sorption
Reductive transformation
Environmental aspects
Issue Date: Sep-1998
Publisher: Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Description: Technical Report
Abstract: Subsurface contamination by 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), 2,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), and oxyhydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine (HMX) is a problem at many military installations associated with munitions manufacturing, loading, assembling, and packing. To support Department of Defense remediation and containment goals, information on the processes affecting the subsurface transport of these explosives is needed. Specifically, information pertaining to sorption and transformation of these explosives is needed in order to facilitate numerical model development. This study provides complementary batch and column information on TNT and RDX sorption and transformation and column information on HMX sorption and transformation. Batch and column testing inciuded soils with a wide range of physical properties, and attention was given to sterilized and unsterilized soils. One soil was common to both batch and column. Reductive transformation was established as an important process for TNT. Measurement of reductive transformation products provided definitive evidence of TNT transformation. Reductive transformation was also suspected for RDX and HMX, although RDX and HMX transformation products were not measured. Soil sorption of explosives was rapid, occurring on a time scale of a few minutes. Sorbed TNT and RDX concentrations tended to disappear from the soil phase, especially in the biotic batch tests. TNT disappearance in the batch and column tests could not be fully accounted for as transformation to 2-amino-4,6-dinitrotoluene (2A-DN1), 4-amino-2,6-dinitrotoluene (4A-DNT), 2,4-diamino-6-nitrotoluene (2,4-DANT), and 2,6-diamino-4-nitrotoluene (2,6-DANT). Thus, an additional mechanism(s) and/or an additional transformation product(s) are needed to fully explain the disappearance process for TNT in soils. Results from this study indicate that the order of magnitude of sorption is TNT > HMX > RDX and that the order of magnitude of disappearance is TNT >>> RDX = HMX.
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