Treatment of Explosives Residues from Range Activities, Massachusetts/South Carolina

Site Name:

Soil Plot 1 (SP1) Demonstration: Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR), Central Impact Area (CIA) Grenade Range (GR) Demonstration: Remagen Range Fort Jackson

Location:

SP1 Demonstration: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
GR Demonstration: Columbia, South Carolina

Period of
Operation:

SP1 Demonstration: A soil amendment was added to the treatment plots on October 13, 2006, and explosive residues were applied on June 11, 2007.
GR Demonstration: A soil amendment was applied on May 22, 2007.

Cleanup
Type:

Field Demonstration

Technology:
Soil Amendment using peat moss and crude soybean oil (PMSO).

A soil amendment process using peat moss, soybean oil (PMSO) was used to enhance the immobilization and biodegradation of explosives residues. In the amendment, peat moss served as long-lived, high-capacity sorbent and the soybean oil served as a slow-release microbial stimulant. Different aspects of the technology were tested in two separate demonstrations. Details about each demonstration are provided below:

SP1 Demonstration:

  • This demonstration used clean, uncontaminated MMR soil plots, each of which received 10 grams (g) of a uniform surficial application of 1 millimeter (mm) size composition B detonation residues. The chemical composition of the denotation residues consisted of approximately 5.6 g of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), 3.4 g of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), 0.03 g of octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine (HMX), and 0.9 g of acetonitrile-insoluble matter.
  • PMSO was prepared by thoroughly mixing the required weight of crude soybean oil into the peat moss.
  • Nine aboveground, replicate soil plots were established of which six received a layer of PMSO. Three did not receive the amendment and served as controls.
  • In the six treatment plots, two different ratios of PMSO were evaluated, 1:1 and 1:2 (w:w), based on the air dry weight of the peat moss. Three plots received a 10 centimeter (cm) layer of 1:1 PMSO (2.5 kilograms (kg) peat moss (dry wt.) plus 2.5 kg crude soybean oil) and three received a 10 cm layer of 1:2 PMSO (2.5 kg peat moss (dry wt.) plus 5 of crude soybean oil).
  • Samples of soil pore water were collected from two different depths in each soil plot and analyzed for explosives concentrations.
  • At the end of the demonstration, the soil plots were deconstructed and the profile of explosive concentrations in the soil of each soil plot was determined.


GR Demonstration:
  • The 100 square meters (m2) test plot was located in an area in one of the training bays where the majority of grenade detonations occurred. A uniform 10 cm layer of 1: 1 (w:w) PMSO was applied to the test plot.
  • The control plot was a corresponding area in another training bay did not receive any PMSO.
  • After application of PMSO, grenades detonation continued at the plot. Digital photography and image analysis were used to study the redistribution of PMSO.

Cleanup Authority:
Department of Defense (DoD)


Contacts:

Principal Investigator
Mark E. Fuller
Shaw Environmental, Inc.
17 Princess Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Phone: 609-895-5348
Email: mark.fuller@shawgrp.com

Modeler
Charles E. Schaefer
Shaw Environmental, Inc.
17 Princess Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Phone: 609-895-5372
Email: charles.schaefer@shawgrp.com

Fiscal Manager
Robert J. Steffan
Shaw Environmental, Inc.
17 Princess Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
Phone: 609-895-5350
Email: rob.steffan@shawgrp.com

MMR Site Contact
Ben Gregson
Impact Area Groundwater Study Office
1803 West Outer Road
Camp Edwards, MA 02542
Phone: 508-968-5821
Email: benjamin.p.gregson@us.army.mil

Fort Jackson Liason
Beth-Anee Johnson
DPTM/ITAM
2179 Sumter Street
Fort Jackson, SC 29207
Phone: 803-751-6427
Email: beth-anee.johnson@jackson.army.mil

Environmental Restoration Program Manager
Andrea Leeson
ESTCP Office
901 North Stuart Street, Suite 303
Arlington, VA 22203
Phone: 703-696-2118
Email: andrea.leeson@osd.mil

Contaminants:
Explosives Residues

Waste Source:
SP1 Demonstration: The demonstration used clean soils, which were then experimentally contaminated with Composition B detonation residues.

GR Demonstration: The heavy annual use of live fragmentation hand grenades at the range resulted in explosives residue, primarily RDX, contamination of the soil.

Type/Quantity of Media Treated:
Groundwater (quantity not documented)

Purpose/Significance of Application:
The primary goal of the SP1 demonstration was to assess the effectiveness of the PMSO technology in reducing the flux of dissolved explosive compounds in soil. The primary goal of the GR demonstration was to assess the compatibility of the PMSO technology with DoD training activities at ranges and study its redistribution during ongoing grenade detonation activities.

Regulatory Requirements/Cleanup Goals:
Performance objectives for each demonstration are detailed below: SP1 Demonstration:

  • Achieve a greater than 50% reduction in explosives leaching and/or explosive compound flux into soil in treatment plots compared to clean soil control plots.
  • Achieve a greater than 50% reduction in total soil explosives concentrations at different depths in the treatment plots compared to the control plots at the end of the demonstration.
GR Demonstration:
  • Achieve a 50% reduction in new explosives residues in soil with treatment compared to control.
  • Achieve a 50% lower explosives residues at discrete depth with treatment compared to the control.

Results:
Sampling results were used to calculate the explosive compound flux, and results from the different treatments were compared. Sampling and analysis results from the demonstrations indicated the following:

SP1 Demonstration:

  • The concentrations of dissolved RDX at a given depth in the PMSO-treated plots were consistently less than 50% of those observed in the control (no PMSO) plots at each time point.
  • The calculated flux of RDX was approximately 500-fold lower in PMSO-treated plots than in the control plots at the end of the demonstration.
  • Throughout the soil profile, RDX concentration was on average approximately 5- to 15-fold lower for PMSO-treated plots compared to the control plots. This translates to residual concentrations of RDX at a given depth being between 7 to 20% of those observed at the same depth in the control plots.


GR Demonstration:
  • Image analysis indicated that the range maintained a continuous later of PMSO in spite of ongoing grenade detonation. PMSO material that was removed from some areas was redistributed to others within the boundaries of the treated area.
  • After three training sessions and 128 grenade detonations within or near the test area, approximately 88% of the area was still covered by PMSO.
  • Qualitative assessment of the photographs clearly documented that the PMSO was being mixed into the soil profile by grenade detonations.

Cost Factors:
The results of the SP1 and GR demonstration were used to determine the cost for a larger, full-scale implementation of the PMSO technology. Based on the cost analysis, the total technology cost estimated for a 4-year, full-scale reapplication applying PMSO using tilled method is $28,402. This includes a capital cost of $2,395 and operation and maintenance cost of $26,007. The unit cost of the amendment is $47.34 per cubic meter (m3).

Description:
Soil Plot I (SP1) Demonstration
The SP1 demonstration was conducted at the MMR military training facility located on the upper western portion of Cape Cod in Barnstable County, Massachusetts. The demonstration was performed in an area that did not have any history of soil contamination or UXO.

The objective of the SP1 demonstration was to assess the effectiveness of the PMSO technology with respect to reducing the flux of dissolved explosive compounds in soil emanating from surface deposited munition residues. To achieve this goal, nine aboveground plots containing native uncontaminated soil were established on August 18, 2006. Six of the soil plots received a layer of PMSO and three did not receive the layer and served as controls. PMSO was added to the test plots on October 13, 2006. Explosive residues (Composition B) from munitions detonations were applied uniformly to the surface of each soil plot on June 11, 2007. Sampling was performed roughly biweekly to monthly throughout the field evaluation. At the termination of the field evaluation, the soil in the plots was sampled and analyzed for residual explosive compounds. The concentrations of dissolved RDX at a given depth in the PMSO-treated plots were consistently less than 50% of those observed in the control (no PMSO) plots at each point in time.

GR Demonstration:
The GR demonstration was conducted at the Remagen Range at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. The primary munitions used on the range are live fragmentation hand grenades. Remagen Range receives heavy annual use, with approximately 33,000 live hand grenades thrown each year.

Results from past site characterization studies indicated high concentrations of RDX and some metals (Fe, Zn) that extended to a depth of up to 60 cm below ground surface. The contamination at the Remagen Range was limited to the four open grenade training bays. An area in one of the training bays that corresponded to the location where the majority of grenade detonations occur received a layer of PMSO. The corresponding area in another training bay did not receive any treatment materials and served as a control. For the test training bay, a 10 cm thick layer of PMSO was applied across the surface of a 10 m x 10 m area. After the PMSO was applied, hand grenade training continued to assess the compatibility of the PMSO technology with Department of Defense training activities. The redistribution of the PMSO in the test plot was monitored and recorded using digital photography and image analysis for the both the test and control areas. The photos underwent image analysis to determine the percent area coverage, and horizontal movement of the PMSO in response to grenade detonations. The results were analyzed, specifically looking at how well the integrity of the treatment layer was maintained during training activities. The image analysis indicated that the PMSO layerÂ’s coverage was not significantly decreased by the detonations, as the treatment materials were observed to fall back and fill in the craters during subsequent detonations. Also, the total area covered actually increased as the PMSO was moved beyond it original boundaries.