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Extraction and Elimination of PCBs in Soils

Location: Region 9 | Published: May 15, 2023

ecoSPEARS was contracted to conduct a treatability study of samples of contaminated soil from a site in Region 9 to determine the efficacy of the ecoĀINA and ecoCUBE technologies. Soil from the site sits a major aquifer, which provides drinking water so a large volume of people. The site previously served as a storage area for chemicals and munitions during World War II, causing the soil and groundwater to become contaminated with heavy metals and hazardous Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

POPs are a group of highly toxic chemicals that do not break down naturally. These chemicals are released into the environment as a result of human activities, such as industrial processes, waste disposal, and the use of pesticides and other chemicals. Exposure to POPs can have serious health effects, including cancer, reproductive disorders, and immune system damage. Some POPs, such as Aroclors and dioxins, are considered to be among the most toxic chemicals ever produced.

Soil from the site was sent to ecoSPEARS to be treated with the ecoĀINA soil-washing technology. The resulting PCB-contaminated solvent was then treated in the ecoCUBE UV treatment technology. Samples were also tested by independent third-party laboratories to validate in- house data.

After treating the soil with the ecoĀINA, the total PCB Aroclor concentration was reduced from 21.22 PPM to 1.01 PPM, a 95% decrease. After treating the solvent with the ecoCUBE, the total PCB Aroclor concentration fell below the analytical limits of detection (0.02 PPM in-house, 0.16 PPM third-party).