Biotransformation of RDX and HMX by Anaerobic Granular Sludge with Enriched Sulfate and Nitrate Academic Article uri icon

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  •   RDX and HMX are widely used energetic materials and they are recognized as environmental contaminants at numerous locations. The present study investigated the biotransformation of RDX and HMX by anaerobic granular sludge under sulfate- and nitrate-enriched conditions. The results showed that RDX and HMX could be transformed by anaerobic granular sludge when nitrate was present. However, the biotransformation of RDX and HMX was negatively influenced, especially with high nitrate concentrations. Sulfate-enriched conditions were more favorable for the removal of ammunition compounds by anaerobic granular sludge than nitrate-enriched conditions. The removal of RDX and HMX under both nitrate- and sulfate-enriched conditions was facilitated by the use of glucose as additional substrate. This knowledge may help identify factors required for rapid removal of RDX and HMX in high-rate bioreactors. These results can also be applied to devise an appropriate and practical biological treatment strategy for explosive contaminated wastewater.


  • An, Chunjiang
  • Shi, Yarong
  • He, Yanling
  • Huang, Gordon
  • Liu, Yonghong
  • Yang, Shucheng

publication date

  • May 1, 2017