Polychlorinated biphenyl, pcb, concrete, adsorption, degradation, ethanol washing, environmental remediation, non metal treatment system, activated metal treatment system


PCBs are recalcitrant compounds of no known natural origin that persist in the environment despite their ban by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 1979 due to negative health effects. Transport of PCBs from elastic sealants into concrete, brick, and granite structures has resulted in the need for a technology capable of removing these PCBs from the materials. This research investigated the use of a nonmetal treatment system (NMTS) and an activated metal treatment system (AMTS) for the remediation and degradation of PCBs from concrete, brick, and granite affixed with PCB-laden caulking. The adsorption of PCBs onto the components of concrete and the feasibility of ethanol washing were also investigated. NMTS is a sorbent paste containing ethanol, acetic acid, and fillers that was developed at the University of Central Florida Environmental Chemistry Laboratory for the in situ remediation of PCBs. Combining NMTS with magnesium results in an activated treatment system used for reductive dechlorination of PCBs. NMTS was applied to laboratory-prepared concrete as well as field samples by direct contact as well as by a novel sock-type delivery. The remediation of PCBs from field samples using NMTS and AMTS resulted in a 33-98% reduction for concrete, a 65-70% reduction for brick, and an 89% reduction in PCB concentration for granite. The limit of NMTS for absorption of Aroclor 1254 was found to be roughly 22,000 mg Aroclor 1254 per kg of treatment system or greater. The activated treatment system resulted in a 94% or greater degradation of PCBs after seven days with the majority of degradation occurring in the first 24 hours. The adsorption of PCBs to individual concrete components (hydrated cement, sand, crushed limestone, and crushed granite) was found to follow the Freundlich isotherm model with greater adsorption to crushed limestone and crushed granite compared to hydrated cement and iv sand. Ethanol washing was shown to decrease the concentration of laboratory-prepared concrete by 68% and the concentration of PCBs in the ethanol wash were reduced by 77% via degradation with an activated magnesium system.


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Graduation Date





Yestrebsky, Cherie


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Sciences



Degree Program









Release Date

February 2015

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

Restricted to the UCF community until February 2015; it will then be open access.

Included in

Chemistry Commons