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Bulletin of the Korean Chemical Society (BKCS)

ISSN 0253-2964(Print)
ISSN 1229-5949(Online)
Volume 28, Number 4
BKCSDE 28(4)
April 20, 2007 

Destruction and Removal of PCBs in Waste Transformer Oil by a Chemical Dechlorination Process
Keon Sang Ryoo*, Sang Hyuk Byun, Jong-Ha Choi, Yong Pyo Hong, Young Tae Ryu, Jae Seol Song, Dong Suk Lee, Hwasung Lee
PCBs, Chemical dechlorination process, Transformer oil, Aroclor, Polyethylene glycol
A practical and efficient disposal of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in waste transformer oil by a chemical dechlorination process has been reported. The transformer oil containing commercial PCB mixtures (Aroclor 1242, 1254 and 1260) was treated by the required amounts of PEG 600 (polyethylene glycol 600), potassium hydroxide (KOH) and aluminum (Al), along with different reaction temperatures and times. The reaction of PEG with PCBs under basic condition produces arylpolyglycols, the products of nucleophilic aromatic substitution. The relative efficiencies of PCB treatment process were assessed in terms of destruction and removal efficiency (DRE, %). Under the experimental conditions of PEG600/KOH/Al/100 oC/2hr, average DRE of PCBs was approximately 78%, showing completely removal of PCBs containing 7-9 chlorines on two rings of biphenyl which appear later than PCB no. 183 (2,2',3,4,4',5',6-heptaCB) in retention time of GC/ECD. However, when increasing the reaction temperature and time to 150 oC and 240 min, average DRE of PCBs including the most toxic PCBs (PCB no. 77, 105, 118, 123 and 169) in PCB family reached 99.99% or better, with the exception of PCB no. 5 and 8 (2,3-diCB and 2,4'-diCB). In studying the reaction of PEG with PCBs, it confirmed that the process led to less chlorinated PCBs through a stepwise process with the successive elimination of chlorines. The process also permits complete recovery of treated transformer oil through simple segregating procedures.
520 - 528
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