Successful in situ reductive biological treatment of high explosives

Groundwater impacted by high explosives (HE) such as RDX and TNT pose great challenges for environmental remediation. The properties of HE tend to lead to the selection of groundwater extraction and treatment while causing above ground treatment processes to be expensive to operate. An interim corrective measure (ICM) pilot test of in-situ reductive biological treatment is ongoing at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Pantex Plant, located in Amarillo, Texas. A carbon source consisting of soybean oil and lactic acid was injected into a perched aquifer to adjust the geochemical conditions and stimulate the resident bacteria to degrade HE. A total volume of 315,800 gallons of carbon source containing 13,100 gallons of Newman Zone® amendment was injected in two events over the past two years.

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