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Anaerobic incorporation of the radiolabeled explosive TNT and metabolites into the organic soil matrix of contaminated soil after different treatment procedures

O Drzyzga, D Bruns-Nagel, T Gorontzy, K H Blotevogel, E von Löw
Chemosphere 1999, 38 (9): 2081-95
10101860
Four bioreactor designs were performed to evaluate the level of incorporation of 14C-labeled 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) and metabolites into the organic soil matrix of different anaerobically treated contaminated soils. The contaminated soils were amended with molasses slivers (80:20% per weight) as auxiliary substrate to enhance microbial activity. After 5 weeks (bioreactors 1 and 2), 8 weeks (bioreactor 3) and 12 weeks (bioreactor 4) of anaerobic incubation, we determined 41%, 58%, 72%, and 54%, respectively, of the initially applied radioactivity immobilized in various soil fractions. After alkaline hydrolyses of the solvent-extracted soils, low quantities of radiolabel were found in the humic and fulvic acid fractions, whereas the bulk of 14C activity was found to be strongly bound to the humin fraction (solid soil residues). The amounts of solvent extractable radioactivity were 53%, 40%, 16%, and 29% for bioreactors 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. The level of TNT transformation at the end of the experiments was within 90-94%. Regarding the results presented in this study, we can assume that there is the possibility of high incorporation levels of TNT metabolites into the soil organic matrix mediated by microbial cometabolism under strictly anoxic conditions.

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