Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

Jennifer Weidhaas

Committee Co-Chair

Alan Sexstone

Committee Member

Radhey Sharma

Committee Member

Nicole Waterland


As trinitrotoluene (TNT) is replaced with insensitive munition formulations (i.e., IMX-101) that are safer to handle in military mortars, the potential release of IMX-101 munition constituents to the environment is likely to increase. IMX-101 is a composition of 2,4-dinitroanisole (DNAN), 3-nitro-1,2,4-trizole-5-one (NTO), and 1-nitroguanidine (NQ). Currently there is little data on transport and fate of DNAN and NTO in the environment. Reported herein is an evaluation of various attenuation processes that explosives are commonly subject to in the environment, specifically: 1) rainfall driven dissolution of munition fragments, 2) adsorption of dissolved munitions onto soils, 3) biological degradation of munitions, and 4) phytoremediation of munitions with various grasses. Adsorption of DNAN was observed on soils, while limited to no adsorption of NTO was observed to either soil type. Inhibition of grass stand development was seen on soils contaminated with IMX-101in concentrations exceeding 15 mg · kg-1. Reduction in IMX-101from at most 100 mg · kg-1 to below detection limits (i.e., 0.1 mg · kg-1) in phytoremediation plots was observed within 195 days. However, microbiological degradation of IMX-101 in soils or abiotic degradation processes were likely responsible for the majority of the IMX-101 attenuation in the phytoremediation studies based on control experiments. However, both DNAN and NQ were observed with portions of the grass roots and shoots, indicating adsorption or uptake of these compounds was occurring in the phytoremediation studies. Soil cultures enriched in liquid media were further shown capable of rapid acclimation and degradation of IMX-101 constituents under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Biodegradation kinetics followed the Monod growth model (mumax = 0.1075h-1 , and KS = 9.975mg · L-1) when DNAN and NQ are provided as a sole nitrogen source with kinetic parameters similar to those reported for phenol. The findings reported herein will aid environmental engineers and military testing and training range managers estimate the fate and transport of IMX-101 in the environment and design industrial wastewater treatment systems.