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Ambio. 2007 Sep;36(6):467-74.

Methods for treating soils contaminated with polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans, and other polychlorinated aromatic compounds.

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Department of Chemistry, UmeƄ University, Sweden.


This review provides a summary of methods for treating soils contaminated with polychlorinated aromatic compounds, especially polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs). Unlike many other soil pollutants, PCDD/Fs bind tightly to the soil, which severely reduces the efficiency of most aqueous treatment procedures and leaves few realistic alternatives besides the traditional containment techniques (landfill, solidification/stabilization, and in situ vitrification). Incineration has long been, and still is, the most efficient destruction technique, with a removal efficiency of >99.9999%. However, supercritical water oxidation, base-catalyzed decomposition, steam distillation, and various extraction techniques, such as solvent and liquefied gas and subcritical water extraction, may provide removal efficiencies of >95%. Many of the alternative techniques are expected to be cheaper than incineration and may therefore be attractive for moderately polluted soils. However, some of them are at an early stage of development and need to be further tested before their true potential can be assessed.

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