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PCDD/F formation during thermal desorption of chlorobenzene contaminated soil


Unintentional formation of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/F) is observed and investigated during the thermal desorption in an airflow of a sandy soil, doped artificially with either 1,2-dichlorobenzene (1,2-DiCBz) or hexachlorobenzene (HCBz) using a lab-scale experimental set-up. At all temperatures investigated (200, 250, 300, 350 and 400 °C), this thermal treatment creates significant amounts of PCDD, PCDF and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), starting from 1,2-DiCBz. The highest yield of PCDD/F formed from 1,2-DiCBz occurs at 250 °C, with a total (gas + residual soil) output of 117 and 166 pg/g PCDD and PCDF, respectively. Most output reports to the gas phase and the PCDD/F signature is significantly different for residue and gas phase. Also PCB are formed, at a scale of 224 ng/g (300 °C). Compared with 1,2-DiCBz, HCBz converts into PCDD/F even more actively at 350 and 400 °C: the total PCDD/F output created attains 967 pg/g PCDD and 465 pg/g PCDF at 350 °C. As a precursor, 1,2-DiCBz favours formation of PCDF, while PCDD predominates, when the HCBz contaminated soil is treated.

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Correspondence to Xiaodong Li.

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Responsible editor: Hongwen Sun

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Zhao, Z., Ni, M., Li, X. et al. PCDD/F formation during thermal desorption of chlorobenzene contaminated soil. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 23321–23330 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-9963-8

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  • PCDD/F
  • Thermal desorption
  • Chlorobenzenes
  • Temperature
  • Soil remediation