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The Effect of Acid Neutralization on Analytical Results Produced from SW846 Method 8330 after the Alkaline Hydrolysis of Explosives in Soil
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER VICKSBURG MS ENVIRONMENTAL LAB
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Alkaline hydrolysis has been used in several laboratory studies and field demonstrations for the treatment of energetic compounds particularly, 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene TNT, dinitrotoluene DNT, and hexahydro-1,3,5- trinitro-1,3,5-triazine RDX in soil. The application of alkaline hydrolysis for treatment of soil involves mixing a caustic source material with soil. Two caustic materials have been explored, calcitic hydrated lime CaOH2, HL and sodium hydroxide NaOH. Evaluation of explosives removal is routinely performed using SW-846 Method 8330. This method was developed before the advent of alkaline hydrolysis treatment, and recent studies have indicated that some errors can occur when this method is applied to alkaline hydrolysis samples. This report documents the results of a field study conducted to demonstrate the issue of false degradation in field-collected samples. The field study was followed by two laboratory studies the first to confirm false degradation as a phenomenon and the second to develop an appropriate acid neutralization method. Results proved that false degradation can occur with alkaline hydrolysis AH samples, particularly if residual caustic material and moisture are present in the sample. Treatment systems using HL are more prone to extraction errors than systems using NaOH, although neutralization improves the accuracy of both treatment approaches. ERDC-EL has developed a neutralization method that can be used for alkaline hydrolysis approaches using up to 10 caustic addition most systems are less than 5 and a combination of H3PO4 and NaH2PO4. For remedial actions using alkaline hydrolysis, the scope of work for the action should include neutralization of all post- treatment samples, with appropriate control samples prepared in order to ensure that neutralization is achieved.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE