Remediating RDX and HMX Contaminated Soil and Water
Hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) and octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine (HMX) are two types of heterocyclic nitramine compounds that have been manufactured and used worldwide as military explosives. As an explosive, HMX is superior to RDX because its ignition temperature is higher and has greater chemical stability. HMX is commonly used as a booster charge in mixtures or as an oxidizer in solid rocket and gun propellants. The chapter presents some site-specific examples of RDX and HMX contamination, and reviews some laboratory, pilot, and field-scale remediation studies specifically aimed at mitigating soil and ground water contamination. Considerable progress has been made in developing and refining new and innovative abiotic approaches for remediating RDX/HMX contaminated soil and water. In addition to human health concerns, the dissemination of nitramines into waterways and soil pose ecological concerns. Soil and water contaminated with munitions have resulted from a variety of military operations.