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Characterization of Air Emissions from Open Burning and Open Detonation of Gun Propellants and Ammunition

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Technical Report,01 Apr 2012,07 Nov 2016

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U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory Champaign United States

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Emissions from open burning and open detonation OBOD of military ordnance were sampled using a novel, aerostat-lofted sampler termed the Flyer. Air emissions from OBOD operations have been very difficult to characterize because of rapid plume dispersion, the short duration of the event, the heterogeneous emission concentrations, large plume lift, soil entrainment, and explosive safety restrictions. With a criterion of elevated CO2, 71 of the 109 detonations were successfully sampled from June 11 to June 27, 2012 at Tooele Army Depot, UT. Bulk energetics and cased munitions, including Comp B, V453, and V548 munitions, were detonated without soil cover only Comp B or at soil cover depths of 3 ft 1 m and 6 ft 2 m. Emissions were characterized for determination of PM by size, CO2, VOCs, energetics, and metals. This work is the first ever open air sampling of emissions from representative detonation trials of cased munitions and the first determination of PM2.5 emission factors for OD. Energetic emissions were typically less than 1100,000 of that in the original munition by mass. Limited evidence suggests that soil-covered detonations may have higher energetics release than surface detonations. Energetic emissions seem to be munition-specific as V548 released about 30 times that of the other munitions. Continuous particle size measurements show that 59 of the PM mass in the plume is less than PM2.5 and the total PM is much greater than that from the ordnance alone, as the plume contains large quantities of soil particles, especially for covered detonations. The fate of metals in the emissions is metal- and ordnance-type-specific. Overall testing found that less than 1 of the zirconium and 22 of the hafnium found in the munition was detected in the plume.

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