Use of Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine as a Nitrogen Source in Biological Treatment of Munitions Wastes

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The purpose of this study was to develop a biological treatment process for the degradation of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), a nitramine explosive present in munitions manufacturing and processing wastes. A real waste mixture containing RDX, nitrate and nitrite (NO x ), and several solvents (primarily cyclohexanone and acetone) was used as basic feed for bench-scale experiments. Pure culture experiments indicated that bacteria can use RDX as a nitrogen source and organic solvents as carbon sources under aerobic conditions. In addition, it has been found that inorganic nitrogen compounds might interfere with the use of RDX as a nitrogen source. Because NO x are problematic constituents that should be removed anyway, anaerobic microbial denitrification was applied as a pretreatment stage to simultaneously remove NO x and organics and to form a nitrogen-deficient environment for further aerobic degradation of RDX and residual organics. This conceptual approach was performed using two reactor systems: a two-stage anaerobic–aerobic system and a single reactor with anaerobic and aerobic stages in its operation cycle. All laboratory reactors were operated in the sequencing batch reactor mode. Both systems achieved complete NO x removal in the denitrification stage with acetone serving as the carbon source and complete aerobic biodegradation of RDX with cyclohexanone serving as the carbon source.
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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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