Doctoral Dissertations


Yuan Yuan


"Explosives and energetics are common soil and groundwater pollutions. This research was to develop novel phytoforensics approaches on energetics. Four different plants species, including woody perennial trees and monocot grasses, were planted both in soil and sand reactors with continuous exposure to a mixture of explosives in the greenhouse. Time dependent assessments were carried out to determine kinetic mechanisms of uptake, transport and accumulation. Plant concentrations were analyzed by both traditional solvent extraction and novel sap analysis methods. A dynamic soil-plant system model was developed to quantify the relationship between tissue concentration and soil pore water concentration for non-volatile organic chemicals with root pathway only. The model included processes of diffusion exchange between root and soil, mass flow in xylem, metabolism and chemical equilibrium in soil and plant interior. The novel plant analysis method with sap extracted by freeze-centrifuge treatments was validated by solvent extract method on the range of plant species and tissues. The novel approach is rapid, cost effective and labor saving and does not require any soil or water sampling, thereby can access vast field samples not practical previously. The Stella® soil-plant system model was effective in estimating the concentrations in soil pore water, plant sap and tissue from dosing concentration input in the experimental settings of this work. The model can be applied for non-volatile compounds and different conditions with only minor adaptions and might be the base of improvement of soil-plant system models for phytoforensics. The phytoforensic approach was validated on RDX and HMX by both experimental results and simulated results as strong correlation were achieved between plant concentration and exposure concentration"--Abstract, page iii.


Burken, Joel G. (Joel Gerard)

Committee Member(s)

Shi, Honglan
Morrison, Glenn
Fitch, Mark W.
Ma, Yinfa


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Environmental Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2013


xiii, 197 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.


© 2013 Yuan Yuan, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Groundwater -- Pollution -- Analysis
Soil pollution -- Analysis
Explosives -- Environmental aspects -- Testing
Plant cells and tissues -- Analysis

Thesis Number

T 10319

Electronic OCLC #