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Chemosphere. 2009 Oct;77(4):597-603. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2009.05.039. Epub 2009 Sep 2.

Dissolution and transport of 2,4-DNT and 2,6-DNT from M1 propellant in soil.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677, United States.


Live-fire training exercises can result in particulate propellant contamination on military training ranges and can potentially contaminate ground water. This study was conducted to evaluate dissolution of the 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT) and 2,6-dinitrotoluene (2,6-DNT) from the propellant formulation, M1 (87.6% nitrocellulose, 7.3% 2,4-DNT, 0.57% 2,6-DNT, 1.06% diphenylamine, 3.48% dibutyl phthalate) and their subsequent transport in soil. Batch dissolution studies were followed by saturated column transport experiments. Neat, dissolved 2,4-DNT, and M1 in solid and dissolved forms were used as influent to columns filled with Plymouth loamy sand (mesic, coated Typic Quartzipsamments) from Camp Edwards, MA. Dissolution rates and other fate and transport parameters were determined using the HYDRUS-1D code. M1 dissolution was limited by DNT diffusion from the interior of the pellet, resulting in an exponential decrease in dissolution rate with time. The HYDRUS-1D model accurately described release and transport of 2,4- and 2,6-DNT from M1 propellant. Dissolution rates for M1 in the stirred reactor and column studies were similar, indicating that batch dissolution rates are potentially useful to represent field conditions.

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