Outdoor dissolution and photodegradation of insensitive munitions formulations IMX-101 and IMX-104: Photolytic transformation pathway and mechanism study

Chao Qin, Leif Abrell, Diego Troya, Edward Hunt, Susan Taylor, Katerina Dontsova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

New munition compounds have been developed to replace traditional explosives to prevent unintended detonations. However, insensitive munitions (IM) can leave large proportion of unexploded charge in the field, where it is subjected to photodegradation and dissolution in precipitation. The photolytic reactions occurring on the surfaces of IMX-101 and IMX-104 formulations and the subsequent fate of photolytic products in the environment were thoroughly investigated. The constituents of IMX-101 and IMX-104 formulations dissolve sequentially under rainfall in the order of aqueous solubility: 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO) > nitroguanidine (NQ) > 2,4-dinitroanisole (DNAN) > 1,3,5-hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX). A linear relationship between DNAN dissolution and rainwater volume was observed (r2: 0.86–0.99). It was estimated that it would take 16–228 years to completely dissolve these formulation particles under natural environmental conditions in Oracle, AZ. We used LC/MS/MS and GC/MS to examine the dissolution samples from IMX-101 and 104 particles exposed to rainfall and sunlight and found six DNAN photo-transformation products including 2-methoxy-5-nitrophenol, 4-methoxy-3-nitrophenol, 4-methoxy-3-nitroaniline, 2-methoxy-5-nitroaniline, 2,4-dinitrophenol, and methoxy-dinitrophenol, which are in good agreement with computational modeling results of bond strengths. The main DNAN photodegradation pathways are therefore proposed. Predicted eco-toxicity values suggested that the parent compound DNAN, methoxy-nitrophenols, methoxy-nitroanilines and the other two products (2,4-dinitrophenol and methoxy-dinitrophenol) would be harmful to fish and daphnid. Our study provides improved insight about the rain dissolution and photochemical behavior of IM formulations under natural conditions, which helps to form target-oriented strategies to mitigate explosive contamination in military training sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number130672
JournalChemosphere
Volume280
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Dissolution
  • IMX-101
  • IMX-104
  • Insensitive munitions
  • Photolysis
  • Transformation products

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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