Biodegradation and Biotransformation of Nitroheterocyclics and Nitroaromatics: A Tale of two Fates

January 13, 2020 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Wallberg WB407
200 College Street
Vinthiya Param

Professor Jim Field
College of Engineering,
University of Arizona, USA 

Anthropogenic nitro-organic compounds enter the environment through their use as explosives, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, solid fuels and fragrances. The aim of this project is to study the environmental fate of two new insensitive munitions constituents being deployed as new chemistries to reduce the incidences of accidental explosions. One of these is a heterocyclic, 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO), and the other is an aromatic compound,2,4-dintroanisole (DNAN). In microbial cultures derived from soil, NTO is first reduced to 3-amino-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (ATO) and subsequently oxidized to benign mineral products (NH4+, N2 and CO2) by a consortium of 7 bacteria. DNAN is rapidly reduced to its amino counterpart, 2,4-diaminioanisole (DAAN). DAAN then becomes irreversibly covalently incorporated into natural organic matter (NOM) via rapid Michael addition reactions with quinone moieties in the NOM.


Dr. Jim A. Field is a Full Professor of Environmental Engineering and Assistant Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Arizona. He received his PhD in environmental technology at Wageningen University (The Netherlands). Dr. Field conducts research on the biodegradation and biotransformation of environmental contaminants of concern. Dr. Field has published 275 peer-reviewed journal and has a Google Scholar H-index of 75 with 18,000 citations.