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Covalent binding of reduced metabolites of (15.N3)TNT to soil organic matter during a bioremediation process analyzed ba 15.N NMR spectroscopy



Environmental science and technology 33 (1999), pp.4448-4456 : Ill., Lit.
ISSN: 0013-936X
EISSN: 1520-5851
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IGB ()
bioremediation; TNT metabolite

Evidence is presented for the covalent binding of biologically reduced metabolites of 2,4,6-15.N3-trinitrotoluene (TNT) to different soil fractions (humic acids, fulvic acids, and humin) using liquid 15.N NMR spectroscopy. A silylation procedure was used to release soil organic matter from humin and whole soil for spectroscopic measurements. TNT-contaminated soil was spiked with 2,4,6-15.N3trinitrotoluene and 14.C-ring labeled TNT, before treatment in a soil slurry reactor. During the anaerobic/aerobic incubation the amount of radioactivity detected in the fulvic and humic acid fractions did not change significantly (11 - 16 per cent), whereas the radioactivity bound to humin increased to 71 per cent. The 15N NMR spectra of the fulvic acid samples were dominated by a large peak that corresponded to aliphatic amines or ammonia. In the early stages of incubation, 15N NMR analysis of the humic acids indicated bound azoxy compounds. The signals arising from nitro and azoxy groups disappear ed with further anaerobic treatment. At the end of incubation, the NMR shifts showed that nitrogen was covalently bound to humic acid as substituted amines and amides. The NMR spectra of the silylated humin suggest formation of azoxy compounds and imine linkages. Bound metabolites possessing nitro groups were also detected. Primary amines formed during the anaerobic incubation disappeared during the aerobic treatment. Simultaneously, the amount of amides and tertiary amines increased. Nitro and azoxy groups of bound molecules were still present in humin at the end of the incubation period. Formation of azoxy compounds from partially reduced TNT followed by binding and further reduction appears to be an important mechanism for the immobilization of metabolites of TNT to soil.