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Title: Role of expandable clays in the environmental fate of trinitrotoluene contamination
Authors: Installation Restoration Research Program (U.S.)
Larson, Steven L.
Weiss, Charles Arthur, 1961-
Martino, M. Rochelle.
Adams, Jane W.
Keywords: Adsorption
Cation exchange
Clay soils
Soil absorption
Soil adsorption
Soil remediation
Environmental aspects
Publisher: Environmental Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Description: Technical Report
Abstract: A primary goal of the U.S. military cleanup effort is to develop technologies that can expedite the remediation of explosive contaminants in soils. Nitroaromatic explosives are known to be strongly adsorbed by soils, with as much as 20 to 50 percent of radio-labeled explosives not extractable in controlled degradation studies. This suggests that adsorption of explosives and explosives degradation products onto soil components renders them unavailable to conventional extraction methods. The mechanism of sorption to soil components has been investigated in order to properly address the ultimate fate of explosives contamination. Trinitrotoluene undergoes reductive degradation in which nitro groups are animated to produce arninotoluene compounds. The final compound predicted by this reduction scheme is triaminotoluene.This reaction pathway results in intermediate degradation products of trinitrotoluene which act as weak bases. Protonation of these weak bases produces organic cations which are capable of sorption onto soil components. Sorption experiments were performed to determine the behavior of explosives and explosive by-products on pure clay minerals. X-ray diffraction studies measuring the interlamellar distance of expandable clays show an expansion as contaminants are bound to the clay, indicating displacement of interlayer cations. This intercalation of compounds of environmental interest within the interlamellar regions of expandable clays is an important geochemical event with implications toward a number of environmental disciplines including subsurface contaminant transport, risk assessment, contaminant bioavailability, site remediation, and natural attenuation.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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