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We seek to understand the environmental fate of three new insensitive munitions, explosive formulations developed to reduce the incidence of unintended detonations. To this end, we measured the size distribution of residues from low order detonations of IMX 101, IMX 104, and PAX 21-filled munitions and are studying how these three formulations weather and dissolve outdoors. The largest pieces collected from the detonations were centimeter-sized and we studied 12 of these in the outdoors test. We found that the particles break easily and that the dissolution of 2,4-dinitroanisole (DNAN) is quasi-linear as a function of water volume. DNAN is the matrix and the least soluble major constituent of the three formulations. We used DNAN’s linear dissolution rate to estimate the life span of the pieces. Particles ranging in mass from 0.3 to 3.5 g will completely dissolve in 3–21 years given 100 cm y−1 precipitation rates.
Taylor, S., Dontsova, K., Walsh, M. E., Walsh, M. R. (2015): Outdoor dissolution of detonation residues of three insensitive munitions (IM) formulations . Chemosphere 134: 250–256. DOI:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.04.041