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Tag: Military--Environmental aspects
  • Dissolution of NTO, DNAN, and Insensitive Munitions Formulations and Their Fates in Soils: SERDP ER-2220

    Abstract: The US military is interested in replacing TNT (2,4,6-trinitrotoluene) and RDX (1,3,5-hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine) with DNAN (2,4-dinitroanisole) and NTO (3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one), which have similar explosive characteristics but are less likely to detonate unintentionally. Although these replacements are good explosives, basic information about their fate and transport was needed to evaluate their environmental impact and life-cycle management. This project measured their dissolution, photodegradation, and how aqueous solutions interact with soils, data critical to determining exposure potential and, consequently, risk.
  • Determination of Residual Low-Order Detonation Particle Characteristics from Composition B Mortar Rounds

    Empirical measurements of the spatial distribution, particle-size distribution, mass, morphology, and energetic composition of particles from low-order (LO) detonations are critical to accurately characterizing environ-mental impacts on military training ranges. This study demonstrated a method of generating and characterizing LO-detonation particles, previously applied to insensitive munitions, to 81 mm mortar rounds containing the conventional explosive formulation Composition B. The three sampled rounds had estimated detonation efficiencies ranging from 64% to 82% as measured by sampled residual energetic material. For all sampled rounds, energetic deposition rates were highest closer to the point of detonation; however, the mass per radial meter varied. The majority of particles (>60%), by mass, were <2 mm in size. However, the spatial distribution of the <2 mm particles from the point of detonation varied between the three sampled rounds. In addition to the particle-size-distribution results, several method performance observations were made, including command-detonation configurations, sampling quality control, particle-shape influence on laser-diffraction particle-size analysis (LD-PSA), and energetic purity trends. Overall, this study demonstrated the successful characterization of Composition B LO-detonation particles from command detonation through combined analysis by LD-PSA and sieving.
  • Toward the Electrochemical Detection of 2,4-Dinitroanisole (DNAN) and Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate (PETN)

    Abstract: Analytical methods to rapidly detect explosive compounds with high precision are paramount for applications ranging from national security to environmental remediation. This report demonstrates two proof-of-concept electroanalytical methods for the quantification of 2,4-dinitroanisol (DNAN) and pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN). For the first time, DNAN reduction was analyzed and compared at a bare graphitic carbon electrode, a polyaniline-modified (PANI) electrode, and a molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) electrode utilizing PANI to explore the effect of surface-area and preconcentration affinity on the analytical response. Since some explosive compounds such as PETN are not appreciably soluble in water (<10 μg/L), necessitating a different solvent system to permit direct detection via electrochemical reduction. A 1,2-dichloroethane system was explored as a possibility by generating a liquid-liquid extraction-based sensor exploiting the immiscibility of 1,2-dichloroethane and water. The reduction process was explored using a scan rate analysis to extract a diffusion coefficient of 6.67 x 10⁻⁶ cm/s, in agreement with literature values for similarly structured nitrate esters. Once further refined, these techniques may be extended to other explosives and combined with portable electrochemical hardware to bring real-time chemical information to soldiers and citizens alike.
  • Predicting the Impact of Aqueous Ions on Fate and Transport of Munition Compounds

    Abstract: A model framework for natural water has been developed using computational chemistry techniques to elucidate the interactions between solvated munition compounds and eight common ions in naturally occurring water sources. The interaction energies, residence times, coordination statistics, and surface preferences of nine munition related compounds with each ion were evaluated. The propensity of these interactions to increase degradation of the munition compound was predicted using accelerated replica QM/MM simulations. The degradation prediction data qualitatively align with previous quantum mechanical studies. The results suggest that primary ions of interest for fate and transport modeling of munition compounds in natural waters may follow the relative importance of SO₄²⁻, Cl⁻ ≫ HCO₃⁻, Na⁺, Mg²⁺ > Ca²⁺, K⁺, and NH₄⁺.