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Furukawa Review No.24

Detoxification of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) at the Chiba Works

Toshisuke Sakurai, Shigeo Iino, Toshio Senjuh and Noboru Nakagomi


Chemical treatment of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was approved domestically in 1997 and full-fledged treatment is expected to begin, but currently there is no facility in Japan that can treat high-concentration PCBs on a commercial scale. Recently the authors have installed in the Chiba Works a treatment facility based on the PCB treatment technology of Nuclear Fuel Industries, Ltd., an affiliated company of Furukawa Electric, and carried out in-house treatment of PCBs contained in the electric capacitors stored in the Works.
1,561 kg of PCBs collected from 91 capacitors was treated during the period, with the result that the concentration of PCBs and dioxins in the waste gas was on the safe side of the standard, and that the contamination of the yielded byproducts were confirmed by elution tests with every batch to be at a sufficiently low level. The facility could treat up to 40 liters of 100 % PCBs per batch, and four batches a day, demonstrating satisfactory performance as a treatment facility of commercial scale. The treatment took six months including the installation work, treatment, and the removal of the facility, and the entire treatment program was carried out without any accident or mishap.

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