Batch soil adsorption and column transport studies of 2,4-dinitroanisole (DNAN) in soils

Jennifer D. Arthur, Noah W. Mark, Susan Taylor, J. Šimunek, M. L. Brusseau, Katerina M. Dontsova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The explosive 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) is currently a main ingredient in munitions; however the compound has failed to meet the new sensitivity requirements. The replacement compound being tested is 2,4-dinitroanisole (DNAN). DNAN is less sensitive to shock, high temperatures, and has good detonation characteristics. However, DNAN is more soluble than TNT, which can influence transport and fate behavior and thus bioavailability and human exposure potential. The objective of this study was to investigate the environmental fate and transport of DNAN in soil, with specific focus on sorption processes. Batch and column experiments were conducted using soils collected from military installations located across the United States. The soils were characterized for pH, electrical conductivity, specific surface area, cation exchange capacity, and organic carbon content. In the batch rate studies, change in DNAN concentration with time was evaluated using the first order equation, while adsorption isotherms were fitted using linear and Freundlich equations. Solution mass-loss rate coefficients ranged between 0.0002 h− 1 and 0.0068 h− 1. DNAN was strongly adsorbed by soils with linear adsorption coefficients ranging between 0.6 and 6.3 L g− 1, and Freundlich coefficients between 1.3 and 34 mg1  n Ln kg− 1. Both linear and Freundlich adsorption coefficients were positively correlated with the amount of organic carbon and cation exchange capacity of the soil, indicating that similar to TNT, organic matter and clay minerals may influence adsorption of DNAN. The results of the miscible-displacement column experiments confirmed the impact of sorption on retardation of DNAN during transport. It was also shown that under flow conditions DNAN transforms readily with formation of amino transformation products, 2-ANAN and 4-ANAN. The magnitudes of retardation and transformation observed in this study result in significant attenuation potential for DNAN, which would be anticipated to contribute to a reduced risk for contamination of ground water from soil residues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-23
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Contaminant Hydrology
StatePublished - 2017


  • 2,4-Dinitroanisole (DNAN)
  • 2-Amino-4-nitroanisole (2-ANAN)
  • 4-Amino-2-nitroanisole (4-ANAN)
  • Cation exchange capacity (CEC)
  • Organic carbon (OC)
  • Soil adsorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology


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