Nitroglycerin

CAS RN:55-63-0

Environmental Fate

TERRESTRIAL FATE: Based on a classification scheme(1), an estimated Koc value of 180(SRC), determined from a log Kow of 1.62(2) and a regression-derived equation(3), indicates that nitroglycerin is expected to have moderate mobility in soil(SRC). Volatilization of nitroglycerin from moist soil surfaces is not expected to be an important fate process(SRC) given an estimated Henry's Law constant of 4.3X10-8 atm-cu m/mole(SRC), derived from its vapor pressure, 2.0X10-4 mm Hg(4), and water solubility, 1,380 mg/l(5). Nitroglycerin is not expected to volatilize from dry soil surfaces(SRC) based upon its vapor pressure(4). Hydrolysis under alkaline conditions may be important based upon half-lives of 37 and 96 days at pH 9 and 25 and 18 deg C, respectively(6). Biodegradation of nitroglycerin occurs rapidly using batch reactors and digestors(7,8), but its rate of biodegradation in soil is unknown(SRC). Nitroglycerin (10 ppm initial concn) was completely biodegraded in 13 days using river water and river water/sediment microcosms obtained from a river near a munitions facility(9), which may suggest biodegradation can occur in soils(SRC).
AQUATIC FATE: Based on a classification scheme(1), an estimated Koc value of 180(SRC), determined from a log Kow of 1.62(2) and a regression-derived equation(3), indicates that nitroglycerin is expected to adsorb to suspended solids and sediment(SRC). Volatilization from water surfaces is not expected(3) based upon an estimated Henry's Law constant of 4.3X10-8 atm-cu m/mole(SRC), derived from its vapor pressure, 2.0X10-4 mm Hg(4), and water solubility, 1,380 mg/l(5). According to a classification scheme(6), an estimated BCF of 4(SRC), from its log Kow(2) and a regression-derived equation(7), suggests the potential for bioconcentration in aquatic organisms is low(SRC). Hydrolysis is expected to be an important environmental fate process under alkaline conditions based on half-lives of 37 and 96 days at pH 9 and 25 and 18 deg C, respectively(8). Nitroglycerin was completely biodegraded in 13 days using river water and river water/sediment microcosms obtained from a river near a munitions facility in Virginia(9). Nitroglycerin may undergo photolysis in water slowly in sunlit surface water(9). The half-life for nitroglycerin (5.8 ppm) in distilled water, filtered river water and filtered pond water exposed to sunlight were 116, 57 and 73 days, respectively(9).
ATMOSPHERIC FATE: According to a model of gas/particle partitioning of semivolatile organic compounds in the atmosphere(1), nitroglycerin, which has a vapor pressure of 2.0X10-4 mm Hg at 20 deg C(2), is expected to exist in both the vapor and particulate phases in the ambient atmosphere. Vapor-phase nitroglycerin is degraded in the atmosphere by reaction with photochemically-produced hydroxyl radicals(SRC); the half-life for this reaction in air is estimated to be 15 days(SRC), calculated from its rate constant of 1.1X10-12 cu cm/molecule-sec at 25 deg C(SRC) that was derived using a structure estimation method(3). Particulate-phase nitroglycerin may be removed from the air by wet and dry deposition(SRC). Nitroglycerin absorbs light above 290 nm weakly and may be susceptible to direct photolysis(4), but the kinetics of this reaction in the atmosphere are not known(SRC).
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