Ammonium nitrate solution (ANSOL), a mixed waste stream byproduct from the production of energetic materials, contains residual explosive content and toxic metals that require it to be treated as hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Although its composition depends on the particular production operations, ANSOL is usually comprised of ammonium nitrate, amine nitrates, water, nitramine explosives (RDX, HMX), decomposition products, and high levels of trace contaminants, particularly chromium, that pose long term health risks for potential reuse or disposal of ANSOL.
To combat this issue, SERDP is investing in the development of processes to convert ANSOL into useful products. The following four efforts have been selected for funding in 2021 to develop innovative and cost-effective processes for transforming ANSOL:
Converting ANSOL into products of use would benefit program managers and installations across all services. As more information becomes available, individual web pages for these projects will be updated with reports and related work documenting their progress.