Electron shuttle-mediated biotransformation of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1, 3,5-triazine adsorbed to granular activated carbon

Kayleigh Millerick, Scott R. Drew, Kevin T. Finneran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Granular activated carbon (GAC) effectively removes hexahydro-1,3,5- trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) from groundwater but generates RDX-laden GAC that must be disposed of or regenerated. Batch reactors containing GAC to which RDX was preadsorbed were used in experiments to test the potential for adsorbed RDX reduction and daughter product formation using (i) chemically reduced anthrahydroquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AH2QDS), (ii) resting Geobacter metallireducens strain GS-15, and (iii) a combined system containing AQDS and GS-15. Approximately 97.0% of the adsorbed RDX was transformed in each of these experimental systems by 90 h. Chemically reduced AQDS (AH2QDS) transformed 99.2% of adsorbed RDX; formaldehyde was produced rapidly and was stoichiometric (3 mol HCHO per mol RDX). Geobacter metallireducens also reduced RDX with and without AQDS present. This is the first study to demonstrate biological transformation of RDX adsorbed to GAC. Formaldehyde increased and then decreased in biological systems, suggesting a previously unreported capacity for G. metallireducens to oxidize formaldehyde, which was confirmed with resting cell suspensions. These data suggest the masses of GAC waste currently produced by activated carbon at RDX remediation sites can be minimized, decreasing the carbon footprint of the treatment technology. Alternatively, this strategy may be used to develop a Bio-GAC system for ex situ RDX treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8743-8750
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume47
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 6 2013

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