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A Life-Cycle Inventory-Based Comparison of an RDX-Based and a TNAZ-Based GBU-24 Munition

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U.S. DoD policy has elevated environmental considerations to an equivalent level of importance with cost and performance. Thus, with sponsorship from SERDP, the DoD, DOE, and EPA have cooperated in a program to develop technologies for clean production of propellants, energetics, and pyrotechnic PEP materials. Since the PEP program framework is strongly oriented around life-cycle assessment LCA, a baseline life cycle inventory LCI of the guided bomb unit-24 GBU-24 made with RDX explosives was conducted prior to this study in order to demonstrate the LCA approach. The primary goals of this project were to develop and demonstrate the use of LCA as a meams of comparing alternative PEP materials. A secondary goal was to produce an LCI for both the RDX-based and TNAZ-based munitions so that further work on improving the environmental footprint might take place. In summary, based on a less is best comparison across the broad range of comparators, such as amount of listed Federally regulated waste or total energy consumption, the RDX-system appears to currently offer the least environmental dis-benefits. If some qualitative adjustments are made in the LCI to account for data quality, the RDX-based GBU-24 is still less environmentally harmful, but the gap between the systems is closed.

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  • Aerial Bombs

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