Dissolution of NTO, DNAN, and Insensitive Munitions Formulations and Their Fates in Soils
ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER HANOVER NH COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB
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New explosive compounds that are less sensitive to shock and high temperatures are being tested as replacements for TNT and RDX. Two of these explosives, DNAN 2,4-dinitroanisole and NTO 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5- one, have good detonation characteristics and are the main ingredients in a suite of insensitive munitions IM explosives that are being, or soon will be, fielded. Both compounds, however, are more soluble than either TNT or RDX and research has shown that both have some human and environmental toxicity. Data on their fate is needed to determine if DNAN and NTO have the potential to reach groundwater and be transported off base, an outcome that could create future contamination problems on military training ranges and trigger regulatory action. In this study, we measured how quickly DNAN and NTO dissolve in IM formulations and how solutions of these IM explosives interact with different types of soils. Because both dissolution and solution soil interactions are determined by a suite of parameters, we are using a multifaceted approach to studying these processes. Given a mass of IM compounds scattered on the range, our work will help determine the dissolved IM masses, their subsequent transport and fate, and their likelihood of reaching groundwater.
- Ammunition and Explosives