In Situ Degradation of Dioxins by Chemical Oxidation

Period of Performance: 11/27/1995 - 11/27/1997


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Lynntech, Inc.
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Treating waste sites contaminated with dioxin is both costly and difficult. Current clean up standards require that treatment reduce dioxin residuals to very low levels. The allowable level of residuals is very strict because of the assessment that dioxin poses a serious health hazard. At present, incineration is the only available technology in the US deemed acceptable for treating dioxin-contaminated materials but the public are highly skeptical about the performance of incinerators. Dioxins are extremely insoluble in water, are only slightly soluble in some organic solvents and have a strong affinity for adsorption onto organic matter and soil particles. These difficulties limit the range of remediation techniques suitable for remediation of dioxin containing soils. To meet cleanup standards, Lynntech has developed a special chemical oxidation system that offers several cost and process benefits for the treatment of dioxin contaminated soils. The merits of the new process are: (1) degradation of dioxins occurs in situ which eliminates the need to extract and treat the total quantity of the waste soil; (2) the process uses low cost bulk chemicals; and, (3) the reagents are efficiently distributed throughout the fine structure of the soil particles. Preliminary research is described that demonstrates the viability of the new process for degrading chlorinated organic contaminants in soils and initial cost estimates are highly favorable when compared to existing processes for handling and treating dioxin contaminated soil. The Phase I research will focus on demonstrating the new process in laboratory soil test cells emphasizing degradation of dioxins that are adsorbed to the soil matrix.