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Perchlorate is an oxidizer that has had extensive use in military propellants (e.g., solid rocket motors). Royal Demolition Explosives (RDX) is a high explosive that has been used in many military explosives. A new generation of explosives is under development which will incorporate perchlorate and RDX together for the first time in a high explosive. The purpose of the research reported on herein was to evaluate treatment options for wastewaters which will be generated from the load assemble and pack of munitions containing RDX and perchlorate together. In addition to hazardous to the environment, perchlorate and RDX can be detrimental to human health by acting as endocrine disrupting compounds and potential carcinogens. Biological degradation, through the use of Anaerobic Fluidized Bed Reactors (AFBR), has been shown successful for treatment of perchlorate contaminated wastewater, and separately for treatment of RDX in wastewater. In order to determine the effectiveness of removal of RDX and perchlorate individually and when co-mingled, three AFBRs were employed. The performance of the bioreactors was monitored by measuring effluent for RDX, perchlorate, chemical oxygen demand (COD) and volatile fatty acids (VFA), while the influent was monitored only for RDX and perchlorate. The results showed that the biodegradation of perchlorate and RDX was more effective in bioreactors receiving single contaminant than in bioreactors receiving two contaminants.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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