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Remediation of hexachlorocyclohexanes by electrochemically activated persulfates

Abstract

Hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) isomers represent a family of formerly widely utilized pesticides that are persistent, capable of undergoing long-range transport and tend to bioaccumulate in human and animal tissue. Their widespread global utilization coupled with a propensity to adversely impact human health and the environment translates into an urgent need to develop feasible methodologies by which to treat HCH-impacted groundwater and soil. The present study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of two persulfate-based oxidants: peroxydisulfate (S2O8 2−, PDS) and peroxymonosulfate (HSO5 , PMS) activated by electrochemical processes (EC) to treat HCH-impacted environmental media. This research demonstrated that the optimal experimental conditions (oxidant dose and electrical current) were 2 mM PDS and 20 mA for an aqueous solution of 4 μM of summed HCHs (ΣHCH). GC/MS full scan analysis revealed the presence of 2,4,6–trichlorophenol as the only detectable intermediate formed during electro-activated PDS treatment of ΣHCH. The investigated method was tested on leachate from a known HCHs-impacted site in Hajek, Czech Republic which contained 106 μg/l of ΣHCH and 129 μg/l of chlorobenzenes. Results from batch treatment showed positive results for electro-activated PDS but only negligible effectiveness for electro-activated PMS. In addition to explaining the efficacy of the electro-activated PDS, this research also explored the basis for the differing reactivities of these two persulfates.

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Acknowledgments

The research presented in this article was supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in the framework of the projects KONTAKT II (LH14067), the National Programme for Sustainability I (LO1201) and the OPR&DI project “Centre for Nanomaterials, Advanced Technologies and Innovation”, CZ.1.05/2.1.00/01.0005. We would also like to thank the state enterprise DIAMO for providing samples of HCH from the Hajek site.

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Correspondence to Stanisław Wacławek.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Wacławek, S., Antoš, V., Hrabák, P. et al. Remediation of hexachlorocyclohexanes by electrochemically activated persulfates. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23, 765–773 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-015-5312-y

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Keywords

  • Hexachlorocyclohexanes
  • HCH
  • Chlorobenzenes
  • Lindane
  • Peroxydisulfate
  • Peroxymonosulfate
  • Chemical oxidation