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Biological treatment of TNT-contaminated soil. Part 1. Anaerobic cometabolic reduction and interaction of TNT and metabolites with soil components

: Daun, G.; Lenke, H.; Reuss, M.; Knackmuss, H.-J.


Environmental science and technology 32 (1998), No.13, pp.1956-1963 : Ill., Lit.
ISSN: 0013-936X
EISSN: 1520-5851
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IGB ()
Biological treatment; reduction; soil; TNT

The explosive 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), found as a major contaminant at armament plants from the two world wars, is reduced by a variety of microorganisms when electron donors such as glucose are added. This study shows that the cometabolic reduction of TNT to 2,4,6-triaminotoluene by an undefined anaerobic consortium increased considerably with increasing TNT concentrations and decreased with decreasing concentrations and feeding rates of glucose. The interactions of TNT and its reduction products with montmorillonitic clay and humic acids were investigated in abiotic adsorption experiments and during the microbial reduction of TNT. The results indicate that reduction products of TNT particularly hydroxylaminodinitrotoluenes and 2,4,6-triaminotoluene bind irreversibly to soil components, which would prevent or prolong mineralization of the contaminants. Irreversible binding also hinders a further spread of the contaminants through soil or leaching into the groundwater.