Laboratory studies for in situ treatment of an RDX-contaminated aquifer

M. L. Adam, S. D. Comfort, M. C. Morley, P. J. Shea

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Ground water beneath the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) Pantex Plant is contaminated with the high explosive RDX. The USDOE Innovative Treatment and Remediation Demonstration (ITRD) program identified three treatment technologies for further testing: (i) oxidation by KMnO4, (ii) anaerobic biodegradation, and (iii) abiotic reduction by reduced (dithionite-treated) aquifer material. We evaluated KMnO4 and anaerobic biodegradation by determining degradation kinetics and carbon mass balances with 14C-RDX. Aqueous RDX solutions (2.8 mg/L), with and without aquifer material, were treated with KMnO4 at 1000, 2000, 4000, and 20000 mg/L. Initial results with the highest KMnO4 concentration (20000 mg/L) indicated that RDX concentrations were below detection limits (50 μg/L) within 7 d, and cumulative mineralization proceeded for 14 d until >85% of the labeled carbon was trapped as 14CO2. Soil microcosms (75 g soil, 15 mL aqueous solution with 5 mg RDX/L) incubated at 16□°C inside an anaerobic chamber also showed high cumulative 14CO 2 production (52-70%) with C, N and P amended microcosms yielding the greatest mineralization. We also assessed subsequent biodegradation of products resulting from the treatment of RDX with dithionite-reduced aquifer sediment. Biotic mineralization rates were initially much greater for the reduced products over parent RDX but cumulative 14CO2 production (∼40%) became similar after 40 d. These results indicated that all three technologies have the capacity to transform RDX and directly or indirectly enhance mineralization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Third International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds
EditorsA.R. Gavaskar, A.S.C. Chen
Pages1863-1870
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2002
EventProceedings of the Third International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds - Monterey, CA., United States
Duration: May 20 2002May 23 2002

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Third International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds

Conference

ConferenceProceedings of the Third International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds
CountryUnited States
CityMonterey, CA.
Period5/20/025/23/02

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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    Adam, M. L., Comfort, S. D., Morley, M. C., & Shea, P. J. (2002). Laboratory studies for in situ treatment of an RDX-contaminated aquifer. In A. R. Gavaskar, & A. S. C. Chen (Eds.), Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds (pp. 1863-1870). (Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds).