Advancements in the remediation of explosives contaminated soil and water

Lance Donald Hansen, Purdue University


This work is a combination of fundamental and applied research efforts to assess and develop advanced remediation technologies for the remediation of TNT and RDX contaminated materials. Three noteworthy advancements are included in this presentation. ^ The first ever demonstration of reductive transformation of 1,3,5-hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitrotriazine (RDX) in a simulated groundwater aquifer is shown. Remediation of groundwater contaminated with high explosives is still limited to traditional pump and treat technologies using activated carbon for physical removal of contaminants. Pump and treat technology is insufficient to meet the long-term remediation goals set by the federal government. This study also correlates changes in contaminant profile with resulting toxicity and screening level bioassays and shows that RDX metabolites exert lower toxicity in HepG2 cell viability assays and in Vibrio fisheri using commercial bacterial bioluminescence assays. ^ Second, a treatability assessment of slurry phase 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) concentrations exceeding 8000 ppm examined the feasibility of biological remediation. Most previous efforts demonstrating anaerobic reductive transformation of TNT in slurry systems attained successful remediation only at contaminant concentrations less than 100 ppm. Further, the effort resulted in significant closure to the 14C-TNT mass balance using innovative radiotracer procedures. ^ Finally, the development of needed parameters and an application protocol for noninvasive remediation of TNT in soil is presented. The topical application of lime to explosives-contaminated soil may provide an effective and economical method to manage lands containing dispersed explosives and energetic contaminants. The long-term development of a low impact technology using remote capability for 2,4,6-trinitotoluene remediation in soil corresponds directly to source control needs inherent in sustainable army training range needs for the foreseeable future. ^




Major Professor: Loring F. Nies, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Environmental Sciences|Engineering, Environmental

Off-Campus Purdue Users:
To access this dissertation, please log in to our
proxy server