Dithionite mediated degradation of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene in soils from a former Department of Defense ammunition plant
Nail, Jason Daniel
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A bulk reductant (dithionite) was evaluated for its effectiveness to degrade TNT and associated nitroaromatic compounds in soils collected from the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant. Optimum conditions for degradation of the target nitroaromatics by dithionite were investigated in batch tests and packed infiltration column tests. An increase in pH via application of a pH buffer prior to reagent addition led to increased rates of nitroaromatic transformation and a greater overall percentage of contaminant degraded. Mineralogical changes during chemical reduction were monitored through the use of X-ray diffraction techniques. Although further studies are recommended to clearly understand the abiotic degradation products of nitroaromatics using bulk reductants, the data obtained from this study provides evidence of the potential effectiveness of dithionite to treat nitroaromatics and other oxidized organic compounds in soil.