PCBs are a useful material because they do not break down easily. For that reason, they are useful for a range of applications. After the PCBs has served its function, you may need to break it down. There are several approaches that can be taken to destroy PCBs.
Physical or Chemical Destruction
You may find it difficult to destroy PCBs using chemicals, which is part of why it is an attractive material in the first place. For example, PCBs is resistant to oxidation. However, basis mixtures of glycols are sometimes effective at destroying PCBs. Vitamin B12 has also been found to act as a reducer on PCBs.
While other methods of destroying PCBs may have varying levels of success, incinerating PCBs is one of the most reliable ways to destroy it. You must destroy PCBs at 1,832 degrees Fahrenheit. If you attempt to destroy it at a lower temperature, you might cause dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans to form, which are dangerous. However, when the product is destroyed at a high temperature, the only emissions produced are carbon dioxide, hydrogen chloride and water.
If you must remove PCBs from soil, one effective approach is thermal desorption. By increasing the heat of the PCBs, they can then be more easily removed from the soil. It is not the same as incineration and may need to be used in addition to incineration. The contaminants that are volatized must either be collected or destroyed thermally. The soil is treated first with the desorber and is then treated with the offgas treatment.
Microbial or Fungal Destruction
One of the slowest ways to eliminate PCBs is with microbial methods. Some microbes are able to slowly reduce C-Cl bonds. Certain microbes are added to soil that contains PCBs and have been able to reduce the quantity of this product. You can also use a low voltage current to speed up the work of the microbes.
There is ongoing research on other ways to destroy PCBs. For example, some researchers believe that they may be able to destroy PCBs with fungi. One study found that ligninolytic could degrade PCBs significantly over the course of several weeks. While this method is much slower than incineration, there are some applications in which raising the temperature to thousands of degrees can be very impractical. While difficult to destroy, its resilience is one of the reasons why its a valuable material.
Contact a company, like Haz-Pros, Inc., for more help.