Biological breakdown of RDX in slurry reactors proceeds with multiple kinetically distinguishable paths

Douglas M. Young, Christopher L. Kitts, Pat J. Unkefer, Kimberly L. Ogden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Biotransformation of RDX (hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine) in slurry reactors was studied to determine the importance of supplementation of known biodegraders and the type of nutrient source required. Although addition of bacteria to the system increased the biotransformation rates, the increase may not justify the additional work and cost needed to grow the organisms in a laboratory and mix them into the soil. An inexpensive, rich nutrient source, corn steep liquor, was shown to provide sufficient nutrients to allow for the cometabolic biotransformation of RDX. The rate of RDX transformation was not constant throughout the course of the experiment due to the heterogeneous microbial population. Three kinetically distinct phases were observed. Regardless of the process, RDX biotransformation in slurry reactors was reaction rate limited under the test conditions. Model simulations based on experimental results demonstrate that, at cell densities of 5 g/L, bioremediation of RDX-contaminated soil is an attractive clean-up alternative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-267
Number of pages10
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Volume56
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 5 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

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