- Red water (waste)
Red water (also known as "Sellite water") and
pink waterare two distinct types of wastewaterassociated with TNT. Pink water is produced from equipment washing processes after munitionsfilling or demilitarizationoperations. Red water is produced during manufacture, as part of the process used to purify the crude TNT. It has a complex composition containing more than a dozen aromatic compounds, but the principal components are inorganic salts (sodium sulfite, sulfate, nitriteand nitrate) and sulfonited nitroaromatics.
Red water is actually colourless or very pale buff at the time of generation; the red colour is produced by photolytic reactions under the influence of sunlight. Despite the name, red water is not necessarily any darker in colour than pink water; the colour depends mainly on duration of solar exposure.
Red water is significantly toxic, more so even than TNT itself. As such it has always been considered a hazardous waste. It has traditionally been disposed of by evaporation to dryness (as the toxic components are not volatile), followed by incineration. Much research has been conducted to develop better disposal processes.
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/explosives-env.htm Explosives & the Environment] at GlobalSecurity.org
* [http://books.google.com.au/books?id=BD3c7FN4x5YC&pg=PA39&lpg=PA39&dq=%22red+water%22+tnt&source=web&ots=mJ8bSKkqJL&sig=I9nPLNW7fx97JPNruHMtsEOwZlc&hl=en Toxicity and Metabolism of Explosives] (by Jehuda Yinon), referenced at Google Books.
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