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Stable isotopes of nitrate reflect natural attenuation of propellant residues on military training ranges.

Bordeleau, Geneviève; Savard, Martine M.; Martel, Richard; Smirnoff, Anna; Ampleman, Guy; Thiboutot, Sonia (2013). Stable isotopes of nitrate reflect natural attenuation of propellant residues on military training ranges. Environmental Science and Technology , vol. 47 , nº 15. p. 8265-8272. DOI: 10.1021/es4004526.

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Résumé

Nitroglycerin (NG) and nitrocellulose (NC) are constituents of double-base propellants used notably for firing antitank ammunitions. Nitroglycerin was detected in soil and water samples from the unsaturated zone (pore water) at an active antitank firing position, where the presence of high nitrate (NO 3 -) concentrations suggests that natural attenuation of NG is occurring. However, concentrations alone cannot assess if NG is the source of NO3 -, nor can they determine which degradation processes are involved. To address this issue, isotopic ratios (δ15N, δ18O) were measured for NO 3 - produced from NG and NC through various controlled degradation processes and compared with ratios measured in field pore water samples. Results indicate that propellant combustion and degradation mediated by soil organic carbon produced the observed NO3 - in pore water at this site. Moreover, isotopic results are presented for NO 3 - produced through photolysis of propellant constituents, which could be a dominant process at other sites. The isotopic data presented here constitute novel information regarding a source of NO3 - that was practically not documented before and a basis to study the contamination by energetic materials in different contexts.

Type de document:
Mots-clés libres: controlled degradation; degradation process; dominant process; double-base propellant; military training; novel information; soil organic carbon; unsaturated zone
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 29 nov. 2016 21:20
Dernière modification: 29 nov. 2016 21:20
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/3394

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