Simulation of transportation of 2,4-dinitroanilisole (DNAN); 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO); and nitro-guanidine (NQ) through soil using Hydrus 1D

Continuous training on military ranges with ammunition filled with TNT-based compositions has caused environmental contamination over decades. These ranges may now require remediation for range sustainability, which is expensive, time-consuming, and can compromise use.

Due to increased environmental awareness society expects a preemptive approach for on-going management of military training ranges to minimize damage to the environment. Regarding TNT-based compositions it is possible to estimate likely contamination issues from historical data. However, TNT-based compositions are being replaced by new formulations designed to be less sensitive to accidental insult. A very promising alternative to TNT is 2,4-dinitroanilisole (DNAN), a melt-castable energetic material that has been successfully used as binding agent in some insensitive high explosive (IHE) formulation. For example, when combined with 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO) and nitro-guanidine (NQ) in IMX-101. However, from an environmental point of view, the lack of historical data on how these materials impact the environmental might compromise training capability and disposal procedures in years to come.

To contribute to this area of knowledge, we simulated the dispersion of chemicals through soil using Hydrus-1D, which is a modelling tool for analysis of water flow and solute transport. Primary data was generated by soil column experiments that were artificially spiked with Insensitive High Explosives materials DNAN; NTO; and NQ. The primary aim of the research was to determine whether Hydrus-1D, can be used to predict environmental contamination on military training ranges.