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Dissolution, Sorption, and Kinetics Involved in Systems Containing Explosives, Water, and Soil

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Environmental Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Waterways Experiment Station, 3909 Halls Ferry Road, Vicksburg, Mississippi 39180
SpecPro, Huntsville, Alabama 35805
Applied Research Associates, Inc., 119 Monument Place, Vicksburg, Mississippi 39180
* Corresponding author phone: (601) 634-3710 ; fax: (601) 634-3518; e-mail: [email protected]
†U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center.
§Applied Research Associates, Inc.
Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. 2008, 42, 3, 786–792
Publication Date (Web):December 21, 2007
Copyright © 2008 American Chemical Society

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    Knowledge of explosives sorption and transformation processes is required to ensure that the proper fate and transport of such contaminants is understood at military ranges and ammunition production sites. Bioremediation of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), and related nitroaromatic compounds has met with mixed success, which is potentially due to the uncertainty of how energetic compounds are bound to different soil types. This study investigated the dissolution and sorption properties of TNT and RDX explosives associated with six different soil types. Understanding the associations that explosives have with a different soil type assists with the development of conceptual models used for the sequestration process, risk analysis guidelines, and site assessment tools. In three-way systems of crystalline explosives, soil, and water, the maximum explosive solubility was not achieved due to the sorption of the explosive onto the soil particles and observed production of transformation byproducts. Significantly different sorption effects were also observed between sterile (γ-irradiated) and nonsterile (nonirradiated) soils with the introduction of crystalline TNT and RDX into soil–water systems.

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