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Research Projects

Previous Research Projects


Extraction of PCBs from Soils

PCB contaminated soil or sediments on industrial and other sites have historically been dealt with through excavation followed by off-site disposal or incineration.  One potential technology that has shown some demonstrated success in the southern United States is solvent extraction.

Although successful at removing a large quantity of PCBs from soil, this technology can be improved upon by making the extraction more complete, efficient and suitable for in a variety of climates.  Research underway at the University of Waterloo will identify the factors controlling PCB extraction with solvents in order to optimize PCB extraction as it is applied on different soil types and in various climates. The collected data will be used to develop a temperature-corrected kinetic model to better represent the extraction process.

As past research has shown that weathered PCB in soil is more difficult to remove, contaminated field samples from Southern Ontario, Canada are being used for this work, rather than synthetically prepared samples.