“Grenade Range Management using Lime for the Dual Role of Metals Immobilization and Explosives Transformation” by Dr. Andy Martin
This project supported ESTCP’s efforts to remediate metals and munition compounds found in soil and surface water runoff from active military training areas. This project employed a non-invasive chemical technology, alkaline hydrolysis, initiated by applying hydrated lime to the soil surface to raise the soil pH above 10.5. This approach effectively transformed both the legacy and the on-going energetic contamination (i.e., RDX and TNT), reduced transport of these residues into the groundwater, and stabilized metal components of the munitions. The cost of the technology was approximately $463 per lime application in 2017. The cost is based on using equipment already available and used for regular road and range maintenance. The time investment was measured in hours and no specialized equipment, operators, or training were required. The technology has been transferred to open burn/open detonation demilitarization activities and Formerly Used Defense Site (FUDS) cleanup activities with similar results. The cost of the open detonation remediation was less than $2,000 per acre per year. Lime application is a proven, low cost approach that can reduce potential future cleanup costs associated with source zone contamination.
"Evaluation of Rhizobium Tropici-Derived Biopolymer for Erosion Control of Protective Berms" by Dr. Steve Larson
This ESTCP project addressed soil erosion on military ranges and installations, including erosion of training ranges, dirt roads, landing fields, and protective berms, by using a biopolymer, Rhizobium tropici ATCC® 49672, as a soil amendment. Rhizobium tropici ATCC® 49672 is a symbiotic nodulator of leguminous plants, also known for its production of a gel-like extracellular polymeric substance. The natural functions of the biopolymer in the rhizosphere include surface adhesion, self-adhesion of cells into biofilms, formation of protective barriers, water retention around roots, and nutrient accumulation. In a patented approach created by the research team, the biopolymer is produced in batch cultures, extracted from the growth media, and concentrated for use. The process takes minutes to produce a product that would develop naturally over years. The presentation described the results of using the biopolymer for long-term erosion control including soil retention, establishing vegetation, improving soil health, and potential cost savings. Other potential applications of biopolymers include improving levee management, vegetating saline soils, restoring coasts and wetlands, and establishing dunes.
Dr. Andy Martin is a Supervisory Environmental Engineer and Chief for the Environmental Engineering Branch at the United States Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Environmental Laboratory (ERDC-EL). He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant Combat Engineer Officer in 1995 and achieved the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army. In the U.S. Army, he served in various positions from Platoon Leader, Aide de Camp, to Company Commander at Fort Riley, Kansas, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and Giessen, Germany. After his military service, Andy accepted a position in January 2004 with Applied Research Associates, Inc. in Vicksburg, Mississippi as a Staff Scientist/Environmental Engineer researching range management, remediation, and sustainable operations. In 2006, he accepted a Research Environmental Engineer position with ERDC-EL to continue his research projects. In 2007, he was selected as the Chief for the Environmental Engineering Branch. Dr. Martin was on a detail as the acting Associate Technical Director for the Civil Works Water Resources Infrastructure from May to August 2016 working at ERDC’s Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory (ERDC-GSL). He received his Bachelors of Science Degree from Purdue University in Chemical Engineering in 1995, a Master of Science Degree from the University of Illinois in Environmental Engineering in 2003 and a Doctorate of Philosophy from Purdue University’s Department of Agronomy and the Ecological Sciences and Engineering Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in 2014. His doctorate research focused on antimony environmental interactions and sequestration associated with amendments at small arms firing ranges.
Dr. Steven Larson is a Senior Research Chemist with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, serving the Engineer Research and Development Center’s Environmental Laboratory, Engineering Branch, in Vicksburg, Mississippi. His current research includes the study of biopolymers and the growth, extraction, and identification of potential uses for biopolymers in the environment. His research has determined that each biopolymer has a unique structure which confers differing interaction between contaminants and environmental matrixes, despite providing generally similar functions in the rhizosphere. As Principal Investigator on several research grants ranging from military munitions to modernization of the Army Industrial Base, Steven has studied heavy metals, and metalloids, such as lead, antimony and tungsten, as well as insensitive munitions, in soil and water. He has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, numerous technical research reports, patents and earned national research awards. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in ACS Certified Chemistry from Davidson College in Davidson North Carolina in 1988 and a Ph.D. in Physical/Inorganic Chemistry from Colorado State University, Fort Collins Colorado in 1994.