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Dechlorination of PCBs in contaminated waters (AntiPOP)

Dechlorination of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) using palladium nanocatalysts to eliminate polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in contaminated waters

Project: Dechlorination of PCBs in contaminated waters (AntiPOP)

Supervision: Dr. Leonard Böhm, Prof. Dr. Rolf-Alexander Düring

Person in charge: M.Sc. Katrin Wiltschka

Duration: 2020-2022



Despite the global ban of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) by the Stockholm Convention in 2004, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) continue to be released into the environment. This is due, among other causes, to wastewater from scrap yards or mine water from collieries.
To prevent the additional introduction of PCB-containing water into the environment, the dechlorination potential of palladium nanoparticles is tested.
These nanoparticles can catalyze the dechlorination of POPs so that the reaction takes place even under moderate conditions.
To prevent the introduction of nanoparticles into the environment and to maintain the activity of the particles over a long period of time, the palladium nanoparticles are incorporated into a polymer coating. Another layer prevents contact with catalyst poisons, which occur in high concentrations in waste and mine water.
With the gained knowledge, a flow-through system is designed for a first in situ application in bypass operation. Parameters such as flow rate or volume are considered to optimize the system and ensure continuous dechlorination. The project contributes to the establishment of an environmentally friendly technology that helps to prevent further contamination with POPs.


FundingGerman Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU)