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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 2, p. 403-410
    Received: Feb 14, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): knicker@pollux.weihenstephan.de
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Solid-State Nitrogen-15 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Analysis of Biologically Reduced 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene in a Soil Slurry Remediation

  1. Heike Knicker *a,
  2. Christof Achtnichb and
  3. Hiltrud Lenkeb
  1. a Lehrstuhl für Bodenkunde, Technische Universität München, 85350 Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany
    b Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen-und Bioverfahrenstechnik, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany


Soil contaminated with 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) and spiked with [14C]- and [15N3]-TNT was subjected to an anaerobic–aerobic soil slurry treatment and subsequently analyzed by radiocounting and solid-state 15N nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. This treatment led to a complete disappearance of extractable radioactivity originating from TNT and almost all of the radioactivity was recovered in the insoluble soil fraction. As revealed by solid-state 15N NMR, a major fraction of partially reduced metabolites of TNT was immobilized into the soil during the early stage of the anaerobic treatment, although some of the compounds (i.e., aminodinitrotoluenes and azoxy compounds) were extractable by methanol. Considerable 15N intensity was assigned to condensation products of TNT metabolites. A smaller signal indicated the formation of azoxy N. This signal and the signal for nitro groups were not observed at the end of the anaerobic phase, revealing further reduction and/or transformation of their corresponding compounds. An increase of the relative proportion of the condensation products occurred with increasing anaerobic incubation. Aerobic incubation resulted in a further decrease of aromatic amines, presumably due to oxidative transformations or their involvement in further condensation reactions. The results of the study demonstrate that the anaerobic–aerobic soil slurry treatment represents an efficient strategy for immobilizing reduced TNT in soils.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:403–410.