Halide salts accelerate degradation of high explosives by zerovalent iron

Jong Sung Kim, Patrick J. Shea, Jae E. Yang, Jang Eok Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Zerovalent iron (Fe0, ZVI) has drawn great interest as an inexpensive and effective material to promote the degradation of environmental contaminants. A focus of ZVI research is to increase degradation kinetics and overcome passivation for long-term remediation. Halide ions promote corrosion, which can increase and sustain ZVI reactivity. Adding chloride or bromide salts with Fe0 (1% w/v) greatly enhanced TNT, RDX, and HMX degradation rates in aqueous solution. Adding Cl or Br salts after 24 h also restored ZVI reactivity, resulting in complete degradation within 8 h. These observations may be attributed to removal of the passivating oxide layer and pitting corrosion of the iron. While the relative increase in degradation rate by Cl- and Br- was similar, TNT degraded faster than RDX and HMX. HMX was most difficult to remove using ZVI alone but ZVI remained effective after five HMX reseeding cycles when Br- was present in solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)634-641
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Halide ion
  • High explosives (HE)
  • Passivation
  • Reactivity
  • Zerovalent iron (ZVI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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