Fate of chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals in landfills

Shannon L Bartelt-Hunt, Morton A. Barlaz, Detlef R U Knappe, Peter Kjeldsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

One component of preparedness for a chemical attack is planning for the disposal of contaminated debris. To assess the feasibility of contaminated debris disposal in municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills, the fate of selected chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) in MSW landfills was predicted with a mathematical model. Five blister agents [sulfur mustard (HD), nitrogen mustard (HN-2), lewisite (L), ethyldichloroarsine (ED), and phosgene oxime (CX)], eight nerve agents [tabun (GA), sarin (GB), soman (GD), GE, GF, VX, VG, and VM], one riot-control agent [CS], and two TICs [furan and carbon disulfide] were studied. The effects of both infiltration (climate) and contaminant biodegradability on fate predictions were assessed. Model results showed that hydrolysis and gas-phase advection were the principal fate pathways for CWAs and TICs, respectively. Apart from CX and the TICs, none of the investigated compounds was predicted to persist in a landfill for more than 5 years. Climate had little impact on CWA/TIC fate, and biodegradability was only important for compounds with long hydrolysis half-lives. Monte Carlo simulations were performed to assess the influence of uncertainty in model input parameters on CWA/TIC fate predictions. Correlation analyses showed that uncertainty in hydrolysis rate constants was the primary contributor to variance of CWA fate predictions, while uncertainty in the Henry's Law constant and landfill gas-production rate accounted for most of the variance of TIC fate predictions. CWA hydrolysates were more persistent than the parent CWAs, but limited information is available on abiotic or biotic transformation rates for these chemicals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4219-4225
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume40
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006

Fingerprint

Chemical Warfare Agents
Chemical warfare
Industrial chemicals
Poisons
Land fill
landfill
Hydrolysis
Municipal solid waste
Biodegradability
Debris
Waste disposal
Phosgene
Gases
Sarin
Mustard Gas
Soman
Carbon Disulfide
Chemical attack
Mechlorethamine
Oximes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Fate of chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals in landfills. / Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon L; Barlaz, Morton A.; Knappe, Detlef R U; Kjeldsen, Peter.

In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 40, No. 13, 01.07.2006, p. 4219-4225.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon L ; Barlaz, Morton A. ; Knappe, Detlef R U ; Kjeldsen, Peter. / Fate of chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals in landfills. In: Environmental Science and Technology. 2006 ; Vol. 40, No. 13. pp. 4219-4225.
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