Biodegradation of 2, 4, 6- Trinitrotoluene (TNT) in Contaminated Soil and Microbial Remediation Options for Treatment


  • Alphonse Habineza

    Chongqing University

  • Jun Zhai
  • Tianpeng Mai
  • Daniel Mmereki
  • Theoneste Ntakirutimana


This review paper provides a critical examination on current microbial biodegradation of 2, 4, 6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT) and its metabolites in soil, with focus on: (i) extent of biological degradation of TNT and its metabolites in soil, (ii) factors affecting the TNT transformations, and (iii) microbial bioremediation technologies , and related challenges. This was carried out through an extensive examination of relevant published literature on the topic. The review paper found that the detoxification of TNT contaminated sites by microorganisms based- technologies have been employed but TNT has been proven to resist biological mineralization and undergo biotransformations, leading to immobilization of toxic and unstable transformation products. TNT mineralization is however achievable, but scientific studies are far away from attaining the best desired in situ bioremediation practices and much remains to be delineated. We provide future research directions to design effective bioremediation technologies for solving the problems of TNT and minimize environmental impacts.



Bioremediation, Contaminated soil, Microbial degradation, Mineralization, Trinitrotoluene, Trinitrotoluene transformation products

Published Online


How to Cite

Habineza, A., Zhai, J., Mai, T., Mmereki, D., Ntakirutimana, T. “Biodegradation of 2, 4, 6- Trinitrotoluene (TNT) in Contaminated Soil and Microbial Remediation Options for Treatment”, Periodica Polytechnica Chemical Engineering, 61(3), pp. 171–187, 2017.