Phototransformations of polychlorobiphenyls in brij 58 micellar solutions

Wei Chu, Chad T. Jafvert, Claude A. Diehl, Karen Marley, Richard A. Larson

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Our purpose in conducting these studies was to examine photolysis as a destructive process for polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) extracted from soils with surfactant solutions. Surfactants have shown promise as agents for removing free phase and sorbed contaminants from soils, yet information on ultimate disposal options and recycle/recovery strategies for the surfactants is generally lacking. For arylhalides, photodechlorination may result in decontamination, eliminating the need to physically separate these contaminants from the washing solution. Photochemical reactions of the PCB congener mixture, Aroclor 1254, and the specific congener, 2,3,4,5- tetrachlorobiphenyl (2,3,4,5-TeCB), were investigated in aqueous solutions containing surfactant micelles with UV light at 253.7 nm. Photoreduction through photodechlorination was shown to be the main decay pathway in which lesser chlorinated congeners were formed as intermediates. In experiments with 2,3,4,5-TeCB, final noncarbon-containing products included Cl- and H+, both produced nearly stoichiometrically from the starting materials. The quantum yield for decay of 0.1 μM 2,3,4,5-TeCB in 0.5 mM Brij 58 micellar solutions was over six times greater than in water alone. Sequential extraction from a soil and photoreduction of 2,3,4,5-tetrachlorobiphenyl by Brij 58 solutions proved to be limited by surfactant loss to the soil.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1989-1993
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Phototransformations of polychlorobiphenyls in brij 58 micellar solutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this