Ammonium Perchlorate Biodegradation for Industrial Wastewater Treatment
Cost and performance rept.
ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY TECHNOLOGY CERTIFICATION PROGRAM ALEXANDRIA VA
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Ammonium perchlorate AP is the oxidizer and primary ingredient in solid propellant for most large rocket motors. High-pressure water washout is the currently accepted process of AP removal for component and ingredient recovery in remanufacture or demilitarization programs. In addition to manufacturing and testing activities, the AP recovery process generates significant quantities of wastewaters that contain various concentrations of perchlorate, salts, corrosion inhibitors, metals, and other propellant ingredients. These waste streams must be treated as a hazardous waste at a cost in excess of 1.00 per gallon. The Minuteman III propulsion remanufacture program will remove over 35 million pounds of propellant from 1200 first and second stage motors in order to recover and reuse the cases. Increased regulatory constraints have curtailed the ability of the Air Force to dispose of rocket propellant by open-burning, open-detonation OBOD, or static firing. All of the major DoD propulsion contractors currently have either an AP disposal problem or a groundwater contamination problem that could delay, add unnecessary costs to, or otherwise jeopardize major production programs. In the early 1990s, the Air Force Research Laboratory AFRL developed an anaerobic biodegradation process to treat aqueous perchlorate waste streams. Following successful laboratory work, this Environmental Security Technology Certification Program ESTCP project demonstrated the operation of a prototype biodegradation system in 1997, first at Tyndall Air Force Base AFB, and later at the Thiokol Corporation Cordent Technologies production facility near Brigham City, Utah. The biodegradation process provides a safe, low-cost, environmentally acceptable method for disposal of AP process wastewater and secondary waste brine streams associated with production, remanufacturing, testing, and demilitarization.
- Inorganic Chemistry
- Water Pollution and Control