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Characterization of Air Emissions from Open Burning and Open Detonation of Gun Propellants and Ammunition
Gullett, B., J. Aurell, AND R. Williams. Characterization of Air Emissions from Open Burning and Open Detonation of Gun Propellants and Ammunition. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-16/289, 2016.
Emission factors from open burning and open detonation of military ordnance were determined in this joint program between the U.S. Army and Canadian Department of National Defence to the purpose of meeting environmental requirements.
Emissions from open burning (OB) and open detonation (OD) of military ordnance and static fires (SF) of rocket motors were sampled in fall, 2013 at the Dundurn Depot (Saskatchewan, Canada). Emission sampling was conducted with an aerostat-lofted instrument package termed the “Flyer” that was maneuvered into the downwind plumes. Forty-nine OB events, 94 OD events, and 16 SF on four propellants types (Triple base, 105 M1, 155 M4A2 white bag, and 155 M6 red bag), two smokes (HC grenade and red phosphorus), five explosive types (Trigran, C4, ANFO, ANFO+HC grenade, and ANFO+Flare), and two rocket motors types (CVR-7 and MK 58) resulted in emission factors for particulate matter (PM), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), chlorine species (HCl, chloride, chlorate, perchlorate), polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDDs/PCDFs) and PM-based metals. These data provide Canada and the United States with additional air emissions data to support health risk assessments and permitting for safe treatment of military ordnance by OB/OD/SF. In addition, the data will be used to conduct air dispersion modelling assessing the impact of treatment of various ordnance on the air quality, to support mandatory reporting requirements of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA), the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI), and to update the Canadian Ammunition Chemical Database.Results showed that complete combustion (absence of CO) occurred during OB of triple base, 105 M1, and 155 M4A2 white bag propellant while 155 M6 red bag showed detectable levels of CO in the plume. The 155 M6 red bag plume showed only a slightly higher benzene emissions, 4.2 mg/kg net explosive quantity (NEQ) (4.2E-06 lb/lb net explosive weight, NEW), compared to 2.1, 0.93, and 0.029 mg/kg NEQ (2.1E-06, 9.3E-07, 2.9E-08 lb/lb NEW) for, 155 M4A2 white bag, 105 M1, and triple base, respectively. The PM2.5 emission factors were in the same range for the four propellant types 3.1-11 g/kg NEQ (3.1E-03 to 1.1E-02 lb/lb NEW) and continuous and simultaneous measurements of PM1, PM2.5, PM10, and Total PM indicated that the predominant particle size was PM1 or less. The Pb air emissions were less than 8% and 5% of the composition for 105 M1 and 155 M6 red bag, respectively.