Treatment of a suspension of PCB contaminated soil using iron nanoparticles and electric current

Helena I. Comes, Lisbeth M. Ottosen, Alexandra B. Ribeiro, Celia Dias-Ferreira

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Contaminated soils and sediments with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) are an important environmental problem due to the persistence of these synthetic aromatic compounds and to the lack of a cost-effective and sustainable remediation technology. Recently, a new experimental setup has been proposed using electrodialytic remediation and iron nanoparticles. The current work compares the performance of this new setup (A) with conventional electrokinetics (setup B). An historically contaminated soil with an initial PCB concentration of 258 mu g kg-1 was treated during 5, 10, 20 and 45 d using different amounts of iron nanoparticles in both setups A and B. A PCB removal of 83% was obtained in setup A compared with 58% of setup B. Setup A also showed additional advantages, such as a higher PCB dechlorination, in a shorter time, with lower nZVI consumption, and with the use of half of the voltage gradient when compared with the traditional setup (B). Energy and nZVI costs for a full-scale reactor are estimated at 72 (sic) for each cubic meter of PCB contaminated soil treated on-site, making this technology competitive when compared with average off-site incineration (885 (sic) m-3) or landfilling (231 (sic) m-3) cost in Europe and in the USA (327 USD m-3).
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Pages (from-to)550-555
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Electrokinetics (EK)
  • Electrodialytic remediation (EDR)
  • nZVI
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • PCB


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