Microbial Degradation of Explosives

Microbial degradation of Pentaerythritol Tetranitrate (PETN) and 2,4,6,-Trinitrotoluene (TNT).

RIM Environmental has developed a microbial consortium that degrades PETN and TNT mixtures. This consortium is being used as an agent to inactivate, on a time-delayed bases, seismic charges. This consortium also is used to Bioremediate sites contaminated with PETN and/or TNT.

Specific strains of microbes are capable of oxidizing PETN and in turn reducing the nitrate groups on TNT to amino groups. Although there is some controversy concerning the fate of the metabolites of TNT, we have evidence that the TNT metabolites can be converted into environmentally safe end products (see figure below).

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