Enhanced Desorption of RDX from Granular Activated Carbon

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Abstract:

Several methods (cosolvents, surfactants, and cyclodextrins) were compared for improving desorption of a high explosive, RDX, from granular activated carbon (GAC). In batch desorption tests, 3% of the adsorbed RDX (initially 71.1 mg RDX/g GAC) was desorbed by water over 11 days, compared to 92.6% desorption by 100% ethanol. Solutions of ethanol or methanol in water also effectively desorbed RDX, although methanol was somewhat less effective than ethanol. Sodium dodecyl sulfate desorbed as much as 70% of the adsorbed RDX, while the non-ionic surfactants Tween 80, Triton X-100, and Brij 30 desorbed as much as 42 to 51% of the RDX. In continuous flow column tests, GAC was partially regenerated. One-half of the adsorbed RDX was desorbed by 2100 bed volumes (BV) of 10% ethanol, compared to the 22 500 BV of buffered water. Column modeling indicated that competitive adsorption and altered equilibrium conditions combined to enhance RDX desorption.

Keywords: adsorption; cosolvents; desorption; granular activated carbon; high explosives; surfactants

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143005X94402

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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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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