Isotopic evidence and quantification assessment of in situ RDX biodegradation in the deep unsaturated zone Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract Hexahydro-1, 3, 5-trinitro-1, 3, 5-triazine (RDX) is an explosive compound whose extensive use has resulted in significant contamination of soils and groundwater worldwide. We studied its in situ biodegradation along the unsaturated zone beneath an explosives wastewater lagoon using compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) of RDX in the unsaturated zone, together with biodegradation slurry experiments under anaerobic conditions. We found the highest degradation potential of RDX and its nitroso derivatives in the upper part of the soil profile while in the lower parts, RDX-degradation potential was lower and the nitroso derivatives tended to persist. This was also observed in the field, as reflected by the isotopic composition of RDX along the profile. We also found a correlation between biodegradation potential and clay content: biodegradation was further enhanced …

publication date

  • January 1, 2010