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TNT transport and fate in contaminated soil

TNT transport and fate in contaminated soil,10.2134/jeq1995.00472425002400060018x,Journal of Environmental Quality,S. D. Comfort,P. J. Shea,L. S. Hund

TNT transport and fate in contaminated soil   (Citations: 57)
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Past disposal practices at munitions production plants have contaminated terrestrial and aquatk ecosystems with 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT). We determined TNT transport, degradation, and long-term sorption characteristics in soil. Transport experiments were conducted with repacked, unsaturated soil columns containing uncontaminated soil or layers of contaminated and uncontaminated soil. Uncontaminated soil columns received multiple pore volumes (22-50) of a TNT-³HâO pulse, containing 70 or 6.3 mg TNT L⁻¹ at a constant pore water velocity. TNT breakthrough curves (BTCs) never reached initial solute pulse concentrations. Apex concentrations (C/C{sub o}) were between 0.6 and 0.8 for an initial pulse of 70 mg TNT L⁻¹ and 0.2 to 0.3 for the 6.3 mg TNT L⁻¹ pulse. Earlier TNT breakthrough was observed at the higher pulse concentration. This mobility difference was predicted from the nonlinear adsorption isotherm determined for TNT sorption. In all experiments, a significant fraction of added TNT was recovered as amino degradates of TNT. Mass balance estimates indicated 81% of the added TNT was recovered (as TNT and amino degradates) from columns receiving the 70 mg TNT L⁻¹ pulse compared to 35% from columns receiving the 6.3 mg TNT L⁻¹ pulse. Most of the unaccountable TNT was hypothesized to be unextractable. This was supported by a 168-d sorption experiment, which found that within 14d, 80% of ¹⁴C activity (added as ¹⁴C-TNT) was adsorbed and roughly 40% unextractable. Our observations illustrate that TNT sorption and degradation are concentration-dependent and the assumptions of linear adsorption and adsorption-desorption singularity commonly used in transport modeling, may not be valid for predicting TNT transport in munitions-contaminated soils. 29 refs., 6 figs., 7 tabs.
Journal: Journal of Environmental Quality - J ENVIRON QUAL , vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 1174-1182, 1995
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