A laboratory study of the bioremediation of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene-contaminated soil using aerobic/anoxic soil slurry reactor

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The successful operation of an aerobic/anoxic laboratory-scale soil slurry reactor showed that soil contaminated with 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) and hexahydro-l,3,5-trinitro-l,3,5-triazine (RDX) could be treated in batches or semicontinuously. Batch treatment resulted in the transformation of TNT. Semicontinuous treatment resulted in complete degradation of TNT. In addition to removing TNT, the slurry reactor also removed contaminants such as trinitrobenzene, 2,4-dinitrotoluene, RDX, and octahydro-l,3,5,7-tetranitro-l,3,5,7-tetraazocine (HMX). Radiolabeled TNT incubated with reactor biomass showed that 23% of [14C]TNT was mineralized, 27% was converted to biomass, and 8% was adsorbed onto the soil. The rest of the [14C]TNT was accounted for as metabolites, including a ring cleavage product identified as 2,3-butanediol. Increasing the frequency of soil addition from once to two or three times weekly did not affect the TNT removal rates. The soil slurry reactor also maintained the bacterial population fairly well, needing only 0.3% molasses as a cosubstrate.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143098X126919

Publication date: January 1, 1998

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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