Bacterial toxicity and metabolism of three hydrazine fuels Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/794081146

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  • Hydrazine based fuels are used by the Air Force for the Titan II and Minuteman III missiles and the F-16 aircraft and by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for propulsion systems and the Space Shuttle Program. These uses represent significant production, transportation and storage of these fuels, and, as such, a serious threat to the aquatic environment from the potential for accidental release. This research was undertaken to determine the toxicity of hydrazine (H), monomethyl hydrazine (MMH) and unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine (UDMH) to four enriched bacterial cultures: Nitrobacter, Nitrosomonas - Nitrobacter, anaerobic bacteria and denitrifying bacteria at concentrations of about 15, 165, 100 and 100 mg/1, respectively; monomethyl hydrazine at 14, <1, 75 and 10 mg/1, respectively; and UDMH at 1800, 35, 2300, and 12,500 mg/1, respectively. The metabolism study used ¹⁵N labeled hydrazine sulphate with high vacuum techniques followed by mass spectrographic analysis of the captured gas. Nitrosomonas was found to metabolize hydrazine to nitrogen gas on a short term basis but could not metabolize MMH or UDMH. However, Nitrosomonas were unable to acclimate to long term dosage of hydrazine. It was concluded that spills of these three fuels could be expected to seriously disrupt the natural bacterial balance in the aquatic environment. In addition, use of biological waste treatment for detoxification of these three fuels is not recommended.
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