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Treatment of Perchlorate Contaminated Industrial Wastewater Commingled with High Explosives

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Perchlorate is an oxidant that is widely used in propellants such as solid rocket motors, and in commercial fireworks and road flares. It has recently been introduced in new munitions formulations as an oxidizer. Although it is not yet in any production scale munitions, it is being test packed into new munitions. An Air Force formulation pairs it with RDX, and numerous Army formulations use it in conjunction with RDX as well as other new energetic chemicals. Perchlorate treatment using anoxic processes has been applied to groundwaters. Treatment of munitions wastewater containing RDX as well as other high explosives by anaerobic bacteria is an emerging technology. This paper evaluates the effects of introducing perchlorate into the anaerobic treatment of munitions wastewater containing RDX, TNT and other nitrobodies. Anaerobic bacteria were able to treat both the perchlorate and munitions compounds commingled together, but acclimation times can be significant, and some consortia capable of treating the munitions compounds could not initially degrade the perchlorate.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-10-01

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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