Voltammetric determination of nitroaromatic and nitramine explosives contamination in soil.
ABSTRACT The contamination of soil by nitroaromatic and nitramine explosives is widespread during the manufacture, testing and disposal of explosives and ammunitions. The analysis for the presence of trace explosive contaminants in soil becomes important in the light of their effect on the growth of different varieties of plants and crops. 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT), cyclotrimethylene trinitramine (Research Department explosive, RDX) and cyclotetramethylene tetranitramine (high melting point explosive, HMX), other related explosive compounds and their by-products must be monitored in soil and surrounding waterways since these are mutagenic, toxic and persistent pollutants that can leach from the contaminated soil to accumulate in the food chain. In this study, a voltammetric method has been developed for the determination of explosive such as RDX, HMX and TNT. The electrochemical redox behavior of RDX, HMX and TNT was studied through cyclic voltammetry and quantitative determination was carried out by using square wave voltammetry technique. Calibration curves were drawn and were linear in the range of 63-129ppm for RDX with a detection limit of 10ppm, 49-182ppm for HMX with a detection limit of 1ppm and 38-139ppm for TNT with a detection limit of 1ppm. This method was applied to determine the contaminations in several soil samples that yielded a relative error of 1% in the concentrations.