The training, testing, and manufacturing required to maintain a ready military that protects national interests has left the United States with a legacy: explosives residue from munitions-related activities - production, demilitarisation, live-fire training and testing - in soils and groundwater at numerous active and former military installations. Many other nations are faced with this same legacy.
|Valentine Nzengung, professor of geology, UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences|
A University of Georgia inventor recently completed two successful demonstrations of a new ''green'' technology that eliminates explosives residue - munitions constituents - and immobilises heavy metals.
Recognising this as a potential solution to many of these possible threats to human health and the environment, the US Department of Defense has granted a multiple award remediation contract to the company headed by this UGA inventor and scientist.
The new remediation technology, MuniRem, was invented by Valentine Nzengung, professor of geology in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and president of Planteco Environmental Consultants, LLC, an Athens-based company.
MuniRem provides an effective in-situ treatment of explosive munitions constituents, both in residue and high (bulk) concentrations on land. It also has applications for neutralisation of explosive residues in groundwater and decontamination of buildings used in munitions manufacture and processing.
Patent applications for the technology have been filed by the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc., and the technology has been exclusively licensed to Planteco.
During recent demonstration and validation tests at a former army ammunition plant, MuniRem successfully remediated soils contaminated with various explosive munitions constituents compounds: TNT, RDX, HMX, TNB, and ADNTs. Other compounds detected at lower concentrations also were completely neutralised. The tests were funded by headquarters, Department of the Army.
''These army-funded tests confirmed the effectiveness of MuniRem as an invaluable tool for cleanup of thousands of current and former military and commercially owned sites where explosive and other munitions constituents present a potential hazard,'' Nzengung said.