Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) are persistent organic pollutants (POP) that strongly adsorb in soils and sediments. There is a need to develop new and cost-effective solutions for the remediation of PCB contaminated soils. The suspended electrodialytic remediation combined with zero valent iron nanoparticles (nZVI) could be a competitive alternative to the commonly adapted solutions of incineration or landfilling. Surfactants can enhance the PCB desorption, dechlorination, and the contaminated soil cleanup. In this work, two different surfactants (saponin and Tween 80) were tested to enhance PCB desorption and removal from a soil sampled at a polluted site, in a two-compartment cell where the soil was stirred in a slurry with 1% surfactant, 10mL of nZVI commercial suspension, and a voltage gradient of 1Vcm(-1). The highest PCB removal was obtained with saponin. Higher chlorinated PCB congeners (penta, hexa, hepta and octachlorobiphenyl) showed removal percentages between 9% and 96%, and the congeners with highest removal were PCB138, PCB153 and PCB180. The use of low level direct current enhanced PCB removal, especially with saponin. Electrodechlorination of PCB with surfactants and nZVI showed encouraging tendencies and a base is thus formed for further optimization towards a new method for remediation of PCB polluted soils.
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 2014, Vol 433, p. 189-195