About Us | Help Videos | Contact Us | Subscriptions

Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Organic Compounds in the Environment

Sorption of High Explosives to Water-Dispersible Clay: Influence of Organic Carbon, Aluminosilicate Clay, and Extractable Iron


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 38 No. 4, p. 1458-1465
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Received: Apr 21, 2008

    * Corresponding author(s): Kateryna.Dontsova@gmail.com
Request Permissions

  1. Katerina M. Dontsova *ac,
  2. Charolett Hayesa,
  3. Judith C. Penningtonb and
  4. Beth Portera
  1. a SpecPro, Inc., U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, 3909 Halls Ferry Rd., Vicksburg, MS 39180
    c current address, Biosphere 2, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0158
    b Environmental Processes Branch, Environmental Lab., U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS. SpecPro, Inc., 3530 Manor Drive, Suite 4, Vicksburg, Mississippi 39180


Explosives in soils can present environmental problems for military installations. Fine, mobile particles represent the most reactive fraction of the soil and, therefore, are expected to adsorb explosives and potentially facilitate their transport. The objective of this study was to determine the relative significance of phyllosilicate clay, organic matter, and two forms of extractable iron in adsorption of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) and hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) by the colloidal water-dispersible clay (WDC) fraction of the soil. The WDC fraction of two mineral and one organic soil was separated and then treated to remove organic carbon (OC) and several forms of iron (Feo, oxalate extractable, and Fed, dithionite-citrate extractable). Adsorption coefficients were determined for whole soils, untreated, and treated WDC. For mineral soils, adsorption of TNT and RDX on the WDC was greater than on the whole soil. The presence of OC increased explosives sorption by WDC. When OC was removed, iron interfered with TNT sorption. In the presence of OC, removal of Feo decreased RDX adsorption and increased TNT adsorption indicating different adsorption mechanisms. Organic carbon was a more significant indicator of explosives adsorption by WDC than clays or iron oxides and hydroxides. Therefore, OC is the most likely medium for facilitated transport of TNT and RDX.

  Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.

Copyright © 2009. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyAmerican Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America