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Taisei Corp. Develops Remediation Technology for PCB-Contaminated Soil 2006-07-08

Taisei Corp., a major Japanese construction company, has developed a technology for purifying soil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB). Taisei gave a presentation about this technology at the "2004 Exposition for Geo-Environmental Restoration" held at the Tokyo Big Sight in Ariake, Tokyo, from September 29 through October 1, 2004.

Because PCB levels in soil actually range from extremely low to high, it is presently very difficult to deal with PCB-contaminated soil using treatment technologies authorized under national regulatory standards for PCB waste.

Taisei's new technology utilizes two remediation methods. When PCB levels are lower than about 50 mg/kg, a metal reducing agent is mixed into the PCB-contaminated soil, inducing a reduction reaction even at ambient temperatures. Through the reaction, the PCBs are broken down into biphenyl and chlorine ions, and this detoxifies the soil. When PCB levels are 50 mg/kg or more, electrolytic dechlorination aided by ultrasonic irradiation to accelerate electrolysis is applied to render the PCBs harmless. Taisei received technological assistance on the electrolysis process from another company, AIT Corporation.

Both these methods are reliable, safe and effective under normal temperature and pressure conditions and can be performed on-site because Taisei's PCB treatment equipment is easily portable. The company will be making efforts to commercialize this new technology by spring 2005.

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