Safe Disposal of Landmines Can Benefit Soil Quality

Safe Disposal of Landmines Can Benefit Soil Quality

According to recent research done in Scotland, safe disposal of landmines can help to clear soil of toxic chemicals.

Armtrac are specialists in manufacturing equipment that can help to clear areas of dangerous landmines so that they can be returned to the community. There are several ways of safe disposal of landmines. These include the detonation of landmines under the ground surface using equipment such as the Armtrac 20T Mk2 Robot - a remote controlled Small (Heavy) Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV). The Robot can be fitted with a variety of landmine disposal tools including a demining flail, tiller and rear excavator equipped with different attachments.

For many years bomb disposal experts have worked to carefully deactivate and dispose of landmines and explosives that have been buried below the surface in war zones and conflict areas. Quite often the techniques used to manually defuse and dispose of these explosives could put life and limb at risk, plus the time it takes to manually demine an area could be long and drawn out.

New research emerging from forensic scientists in Scotland suggests that the detonation of landmines where they are discovered can help to rid the soil of toxic contaminants and help the environment in the process. According to Professor Niamh Nic Daeid, director of the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science at Dundee University, detonating landmines in situ can help to resolve two problems at once.

The Scottish research directly relates to the presence of TNT under the soil surface, something that is often a hazard in old war zones and bombing sites. Reclaiming the contaminated land requires the specialist removal of both dangerous explosive devices as well as toxic explosives.

The research team consisting of members from Dundee University, the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen and scientists from Australia’s ChemCentre and Curtin University, carried out extensive tests using controlled blasts in different soil types to gather results.

Soil samples that were first spiked with TNT were analysed both before and after being blown up, and the chemical levels were compared with soils that had not been blown up. The results showed that bioremediation, where microbes remove pollutants, acted quicker and more effectively in the soil samples that had been blown up.

The research results, therefore, suggest that safely detonating landmines in controlled explosions in the ground rather than removing them intact can be of more benefit to the earth and the environment.

Not only does detonation in the soil significantly reduce TNT levels very quickly but it promotes quicker degradation of the levels of chemicals held within the soil. Because of the structure of some soil types, it can actually act as a sink for toxic chemicals such as TNT, making the process of microbial degradation far less effective. Detonating the explosives in the soil can break up the soil structure and allow microbes better access to break down TNT contaminants much quicker.

Amtrac offers state-of-the-art demining equipment that can detonate or shatter landmines and other explosive hazards buried in the ground in a safe and controlled way. Why not take a look at some of our demining equipment to see our many different options that are flexible and adaptable to all sorts of different terrain.