Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) include highly chlorinated chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), organochlorinated pesticides (OCPs) and other similar, halogenated compounds[1, 2]. They are highly stable and extremely resistant to degradation. Their physico-chemical properties determine these chemicals to be classified as carcinogens, reproductive toxins and endocrine disruptors. The danger posed by these compounds was recognized by the United Nations and thus the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (since 2001 fully ratified by the Czech government as well) requires its signatories to eliminate their production and use[1, 4]. Only one group, PCDD/Fs, has never been produced intentionally, i.e. it is produced as byproducts of industrial chemical reactions such as the manufacturing of chlorinated phenoxyacetic acid derivatives, used as herbicides. On the contrary, PCBs or OCPs have recently been produced for their direct usage. In all the above cases, organic pollutants readily remain in the ashes or are scavenged from the flue gas by adsorption on a suitable sorbent such as active coal or any other sorbent (alumina, organoclay, etc..). Contaminated sediments belong to prominent cases, with POPs being present in considerable concentrations, partly due to posing a great challenge for their removal, yet their persistance in water basins and biosphere remain to be naturally a high concern (MKOL).
The CDC (Catalytic Destruction using Copper) technique is a novel technology of a highly effective chemical destruction of POPs, recently developed by Czech scientists and patented. The project aims to test the CDC technology in terms of its performance, capabilities and genotoxicity of input and output material. We would like to upgrade recent construction of pilot reactor for the decontamination of POPs using CDC technology and perform a broad testing, with this focus: cost effective POPs isolation and operational testing, based on both chemical and genotoxicity, that can define new standard in industrial and remediation practice. Then, the technology will be formally approved by the relevant legal authority. Moreover, novel European ETV certification procedure will be applied for European and Worldwide recognition. The tested feedstock will preferably cover a broad spectrum of a solid material with a varying content of POPs. This project will bring a highly effective solution to contemporarily existing technical problems related to the handling of hazardous ash (waste incineration) and solid materials from metallurgy. This will allow a full recycling and a further use as e.g. building materials, instead of the contemporarily stabilisation in various "temporary" deposits, long-term burdening the environment. The developped technological applications will permit utilising the waste heat a and thus optimize the economy to the maximum effectivity of the technology. The project will particularly focus on testing of he CDC (Catalytic Destruction using Copper) technology in terms of its performance, capabilities and genotoxicity of input and output material.
1. Hara, J. Chemical degradation of chlorinated organic pollutants for in situ remediation and evaluation of natural attenuation. 2012. InTech.
2. Stockholm Convention. Available from: http://chm.pops.int/.
3. L. Ritter, et al., Persistent organic pollutants.
4. Ministerstvo životního prostředí. Available from: http://www.mzp.cz/.
5. M.S.M. Mujeebur Rahuman, et al., Destruction technologies for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBS). 2000.
6. Williams, P.T., Waste Treatment and Disposal. 2 ed.
7. Base Catalyzed Decomposition (BCD). Available from: http://www.ihpa.info/docs/library/reports/Pops/June2009/BCDSBCLogoMainSh....
8. EPA, Technology Alternatives for the Remediation of PCB Contaminated Soils and Sediments, 2012.