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Title: Fate and transport of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) and its degradation products in sedimentary and volcanic rocks, Los Alamos, New Mexico

High-explosive compounds including hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) were used extensively in weapons research and testing at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Liquid effluents containing RDX were released to an outfall pond that flowed to Cañon de Valle at LANL's Technical Area 16 (TA-16), resulting in the contamination of the alluvial, intermediate and regional groundwater bodies. Monitoring of groundwater within Cañon de Valle has shown persistent RDX in the intermediate perched zone located between 225 and 311 m below ground surface. Monitoring data also show detectable levels of RDX putative anaerobic degradation products. Batch and column experiments were conducted to determine the extent of adsorption-desorption and transport of RDX and its degradation products (MNX, DNX, and TNX) in major rock types that are within the RDX plume. All experiments in this paper were performed in the dark using water obtained from a well located at the center of the plume, which is fairly oxic and has a neutral pH of 7.5. Retardation factors and partitioning coefficient (K d) values for RDX were calculated from batch experiments. Additionally, retardation factors and K d values for RDX and its degradation products were calibrated from column experiments using a one-dimensional transport model with equilibrium sorption (linearmore » isotherm). Results from the column and batch experiments showed little to no sorption of RDX to the aquifer materials tested, with retardation factors ranging from 1.0 to 1.8 and K d values varying from 0 to 0.70 L/kg. Finally, results also showed no measurable differences between the transport properties of RDX and its degradation products.« less
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  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0045-6535
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 182; Journal ID: ISSN 0045-6535
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Earth Sciences; Environmental Protection; RDX, TNT, transport, adsorption, retardation
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1396516