Feasibility of Cleaning PCB Contaminated Surfaces Using Pulsed Corona Discharges
Final rept. FY97-FY98
NAVAL FACILITIES ENGINEERING SERVICE CENTER PORT HUENEME CA
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The objective of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using pulsed corona discharges to destroy organic contaminants on surfaces. Pulsed corona discharge technology uses brief pulses of high voltage to generate strong oxidizing chemicals such as hydroxyl radical and ozone. These chemical species, in aqueous solution, can mineralize organic contaminants in solution or on the surface of solids. The target organic contaminants for this study were polychlorinated biphenyls PCB found on parts removed from Navy ships being recycled. Initial studies were performed using phenol as a surrogate for PCBs. Following successful degradation of phenol, degradation of a chlorinated phenol, and finally a chlorinated biphenyl would be studied. The author found no conclusive evidence that pulsed streaming corona discharges significantly degrade phenol. The reason for this is that the experimental procedure did not generate significant amounts of either ozone or hydrogen peroxide. Other investigators have found that up to 25 percent of phenol can be converted into catechol and resorcinol by the pulsed streaming corona discharge process. Catechol and resorcinol are classified as hazardous substances. It was recommended that the project be terminated.
- Organic Chemistry
- Marine Engineering
- Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control