Biodegradation of Nitrate Esters Used as Military Propellants - a Status Report
Final technical rept.
ARMY NATICK RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER MA
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The biodegradation of four glycol nitrates used as military propellants was investigated. Propylene glycol dinitrate, diethylene glycol dinitrate, triethylene glycol dinitrate and trimethylolethane trinitrate underwent sequential hydrolytic cleavage of nitrate groups under aerobic batch or continuous fermentation. Activated sludge inocula, mineral salts, and ethanol as an additional carbon source were used. The substrates and partially nitrated metabolites were monitored by thin-layer chromatography. The concentrations of the nitrate esters could be reduced below detectable limits by choice of retention time. The identities of the metabolites were confirmed by gas chromatography - mass spectrometry using authentic samples whose syntheses are described. A program to obtain bench scale data for development of a microbiological treatment process for waste waters containing nitrate ester propellants is recommended.
- Ammunition and Explosives
- Water Pollution and Control