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Pure Appl. Chem., 2011, Vol. 83, No. 7, pp. 1407-1484

Published online 2011-05-07


Soils contaminated with explosives: Environmental fate and evaluation of state-of-the-art remediation processes (IUPAC Technical Report)

Dimitrios Kalderis1*, Albert L. Juhasz2, Raj Boopathy3 and Steve Comfort4

1 Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, Technological and Educational Institute of Crete, Chania 73100, Crete, Greece
2 Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment and Remediation, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes Campus, Adelaide, 5095, Australia
3 Department of Biological Sciences, Nicholls State University, Thibodaux, LA 70310, USA
4 School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, 205 Kiesselbach, Lincoln, NE, USA

Abstract: An explosion occurs when a large amount of energy is suddenly released. This energy may come from an over-pressurized steam boiler, from the products of a chemical reaction involving explosive materials, or from a nuclear reaction that is uncontrolled. In order for an explosion to occur, there must be a local accumulation of energy at the site of the explosion, which is suddenly released. This release of energy can be dissipated as blast waves, propulsion of debris, or by the emission of thermal and ionizing radiation. Modern explosives or energetic materials are nitrogen-containing organic compounds with the potential for self-oxidation to small gaseous molecules (N2, H2O, and CO2). Explosives are classified as primary or secondary based on their susceptibility of initiation. Primary explosives are highly susceptible to initiation and are often used to ignite secondary explosives, such as TNT (2,4,6-trinitrotoluene), RDX (1,3,5-trinitroperhydro-1,3,5-triazine), HMX (1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocane), and tetryl (N-methyl-N-2,4,6-tetranitro-aniline).