SON Number: ERSON-09-04
November 8, 2007
The objective of this Statement of Need (SON) is to solicit fundamental and applied research that
leads to a better understanding of the fate and transport of munitions constituents (MC) under
specific conditions. Proposals should focus on one or more of the following specific objectives
in order to fill gaps in the current knowledge base:
Determine the rate of release of nitroglycerin (NG), 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT), and nitroguanidine (NQ) from propellant residues as a function of particle size. Determine the fate and transport properties of munitions constituents when deposited as military grade mixtures in the environment. Improve our understanding of the fate and transport parameters of munitions constituents in multiple soil types that typically are found at operational ranges. Research proposals can involve laboratory-, bench-, and field-scale studies, as well as computer modeling to support such efforts. Key contaminants of interest for Objectives 2 and 3 are those compounds that comprise the common military grade mixtures, such as 1,3,5-hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitrotriazine (RDX), octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7 tetrazocine (HMX), 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), nitroglycerin (NG), and 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT). The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) co-sponsored a Technical Exchange Meeting on DoD Operational Range Assessment and Management Approaches (August 2007) that identified high priority research topics in this area. Results from the Technical Exchange Meeting emphasized the need for an understanding of the fate and transport of munitions constituents as well as their source zone locations and strength. A more detailed description of these issues can be found in the report from the Technical Exchange . 2. EXPECTED BENEFITS OF PROPOSED WORK

Improving our ability to predict the fate and transport of munitions constituents of concern will
result in improved management practices for operational ranges that will minimize the
environmental impact of testing and training with live munitions. Such improvements in
management practices will ultimately translate into improving our ability to achieve range

DoD policy requires that all DoD ranges and operating areas be managed and operated in such a
way as to support their long-term viability and utility to meet the national defense mission while
protecting human health and the environment. Environmental considerations that may influence
current or future range and operating area activities must be identified as part of the range-
sustainment management program (DoD Directive 3200.15this policy, all DoD
Components are required to establish and implement procedures to assess the environmental
impacts of munitions use on operational ranges (DoD Directive 4715.114715.14ponents have developed and are currently implementing operational
range assessment programs (ORAPs).
Key elements of the ORAPs include: (1) addressing all operational ranges/range complexes
within the U.S.; (2) using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) conceptual site
model (CSM) and data quality objectives processes; (3) leveraging existing information to the
greatest extent possible; (4) reporting and addressing under the Defense Environmental
Restoration Program in accordance with the National Contingency Plan if off-range munitions
constituent migration poses an unacceptable risk requiring mitigation; and (5) the Components
periodically reevaluating their operational ranges, at least every five years.

Key factors in understanding the fate and transport of munitions constituents are dissolution and
partitioning between the solid and aqueous phases. Dissolution for explosives and release of
propellant components from the polymeric nitrocellulose matrix are the first steps in transport of
energetic residues offsite, either vertically into groundwater aquifers or horizontally in overland
flow runoff. Colloidal or particulate transport processes in overland flow may also be important.
Ongoing research is addressing the rate of dissolution for various types of explosives (SERDP
e initial experiments are underway to investigate the release of 2,4-
DNT or NG from 105 mm, 5.56 mm, AT-4, and 81 mm illumination propellant; however, data
gaps exist. These data are critical to any realistic mathematical modeling of the fate of these
components on ranges. With regard to partitioning between the solid and aqueous phase, the
soil-water partition coefficient (Kd) metric is the most common measure used in transport codes
to describe the extent to which contaminants are sorbed to soils. Kd accounts for various
chemical and physical retardation mechanisms.
A complicating factor when assessing fate and transport of munitions constituents is that MCs
present on operational ranges do not exist as neat compounds, nor is there one standard soil type
at all operational ranges. The presence of multiple chemicals may affect the way a chemical
breaks down or moves through the environment. The presence of multiple compounds at an
operational range is not adequately reflected in most laboratory scale studies of the fate and
transport of MCs. There is a lack of adequate data to understand the difference between the
interactions of neat- (or laboratory-) grade MCs versus the military-grade MCs that contain such
impurities such as plasticizers and binders. In addition, the types of soil present at operational
ranges may vary dramatically, resulting in uncertainties in estimates of the fate and transport of
MCs in the environment whenever site-specific data is not available.
To strategically guide future investments in support of DoD’s effort to achieve the sustainability
of their testing and training ranges, SERDP and ESTCP hosted a Technical Exchange Meeting in
August 2007 to identify technology needs of the range management and assessment community
that could be addressed through additional research and development efforts supported by
SERDP and ESTCP. The findings and recommendations of the meeting participants have been
documented in a final report that serves as a strategic plan to guide investments in this area over
the next five years by the SERDP and ESTCP programs
research paths were identified, including the need for improved understanding of the fate and
transport of munitions constituents.


The cost and time to meet the requirements of this SON are at the discretion of the proposer.
The proposer should incorporate the appropriate time schedule and cost requirements to
accomplish the scope of work proposed. SERDP staff will evaluate the cost and duration of the
project plan in light of the scope of work proposed. SERDP projects normally run from two to
four years in length and vary considerably in cost consistent with the scope of the effort.
Proposers are encouraged to and may submit smaller proposals that offer technical or cost
advantages that only address one or more portions of the SON.
Limited Scope Proposals: Proposers with innovative approaches to the SON, that entail high
technical risk and/or have minimal supporting data, may submit a proposal for a nominal amount
of funding (up to $150,000) to develop the data necessary to provide for risk reduction and/or a
proof of concept. Proposers should submit in accordance with the SERDP Core Solicitation
instructions. Such proposals may be eligible for follow-on funding if they result in a successful
initial project.
The government reserves the right to fund more than one proposal either to meet this
requirement fully or to pursue more than one innovative approach.
Andrea Leeson, Ph.D.
Program Manager for Environmental Restoration
Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP)
901 North Stuart Street, Suite 303
Arlington, VA 22203
Phone: 703-696-2118
Fax: 703-696-2114
For Core proposal submission due dates, instructions, and additional solicitation information,
visit the Funding & Opportunities page on the SE


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