Composting Explosives/Organics Contaminated Soils
ATLANTIC RESEARCH CORP ALEXANDRIA VA
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The primary objectives of this study were to determine if sediment contaminated with TNT, RDX, HMX, and tetryl from Louisiana AAP, soil contaminated with nitrocellulose from Badger AAP, and soil contaminated with TCE from Letterkenny AD can be decontaminated using composting. Laboratory studies were conducted using 14 C-tracers to evaluate contaminated breakdown in two types of compost hay-horse feed and sewage sludge-wood chips with contaminated sediment from these Army installations added as 10, 18, and 25 of the compost dry mass. Results indicated that the Louisiana AAP sediment at high rates of addition had a detrimental effect on the breakdown of explosives. Tetryl breakdown was not strongly affected by sediment loading greater than 90 loss of tetryl occurred in all treatment after 44 days of composting. HMX breakdown was relatively slow. Nitrocellulose degradation was unaffected by sediment loading rates and decontamination of the Badger AAP soil appeared to be complete within 4 weeks. Pilot-scale composting tests were conducted using 500 gallon self-sustaining composts. Breakdown of explosives in sewage sludge composts amended with 16 Louisiana AAP sediment was insignificant. A third mixture of compost materials manure-hay-saw dust amended with 12 Louisiana AAP sediment was tested.
- Water Pollution and Control