University of Oulu

Srivastava, V., Boczkaj, G., & Lassi, U. (2022). An Overview of Treatment Approaches for Octahydro-1, 3, 5, 7-tetranitro-1, 3, 5, 7-tetrazocine (HMX) Explosive in Soil, Groundwater, and Wastewater. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(23), 15948.

An overview of treatment approaches for octahydro-1, 3, 5, 7-tetranitro-1, 3, 5, 7-tetrazocine (HMX) explosive in soil, groundwater, and wastewater

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Author: Srivastava, Varsha1; Boczkaj, Grzegorz2,3; Lassi, Ulla1
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Sustainable Chemistry, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
2Department of Sanitary Engineering, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Gdansk University of Technology, G. Narutowicza St. 11/12, 80-233 Gdansk, Poland
3EkoTech Center, Gdansk University of Technology, G. Narutowicza St. 11/12, 80-233 Gdansk, Poland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-12-09


Octahydro-1, 3, 5, 7-tetranitro-1, 3, 5, 7-tetrazocine (HMX) is extensively exploited in the manufacturing of explosives; therefore, a significant level of HMX contamination can be encountered near explosive production plants. For instance, up to 12 ppm HMX concentrations have been observed in the wastewater effluent of a munitions manufacturing facility, while up to 45,000 mg/kg of HMX has been found in a soil sample taken from a location close to a high-explosive production site. Owing to their immense demand for a variety of applications, the large-scale production of explosives has culminated in severe environmental issues. Soil and water contaminated with HMX can pose a detrimental impact on flora and fauna and hence, remediation of HMX is paramount. There is a rising demand to establish a sustainable technology for HMX abatement. Physiochemical and bioremediation approaches have been employed to treat HMX in the soil, groundwater, and wastewater. It has been revealed that treatment methods such as photo-peroxidation and photo-Fenton oxidation can eliminate approximately 98% of HMX from wastewater. Fenton’s reagents were found to be very effective at mineralizing HMX. In the photocatalytic degradation of HMX, approximately 59% TOC removal was achieved by using a TiO₂ photocatalyst, and a dextrose co-substrate was used in a bioremediation approach to accomplish 98.5% HMX degradation under anaerobic conditions. However, each technology has some pros and cons which need to be taken into consideration when choosing an HMX remediation approach. In this review, various physiochemical and bioremediation approaches are considered and the mechanism of HMX degradation is discussed. Further, the advantages and disadvantages of the technologies are also discussed along with the challenges of HMX treatment technologies, thus giving an overview of the HMX remediation strategies.

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Series: International journal of environmental research and public health
ISSN: 1661-7827
ISSN-E: 1660-4601
ISSN-L: 1661-7827
Volume: 19
Issue: 23
Article number: 15948
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph192315948
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 116 Chemical sciences
Funding: The authors acknowledge the funding from the Academy of Finland (decision number 346537).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 346537
Detailed Information: 346537 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (