Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are toxic compounds which are persistent in nature capable of bioaccumulation in the food chain. PCBs have been used in transformer oil as heat resistant compounds on large scale. The effect of Fenton process on the degradation of PCB was examined in synthetic wastewater containing old transformer oil for 21 days. Fenton oxidation accomplished completely degradation of PCB, and its degradation mechanism was studied in relation to time. The effectiveness of Fenton process in PCBs degradation was studied after initial characterization of wastewater for all physicochemical parameters of wastewater. Wastewater containing PCBs was treated by Fenton process by which resulted in degradation of PCBs into aldehydes, alcohols and simpler acids such as benzene dicarboxylic acid, hexa-decanoic acid, propanoic acid, benzyl oxy tridecanoic acid, benzoic acid and stearic acid. Simpler chlorinated compounds identified were: hexane, 2-chloro and heptacosane, 1-chloro and silane, trichlorooctadecyl, 1-chloroeicosane, respectively. Other degradation products included: benzaldehyde,2,5-dimethyl, benzene,1-ethyl-3-methyl, benzaldehyde,3,4-dimethyl, benzene,1,2,4-trimethyl and benzaldehyde,2,4-dimethyl. There was a significant reduction in COD of wastewater from its initial value of 705–106 mg/L consequent to treatment. Fenton treatment may be an effective low-cost treatment to eliminate hazardous PCBs compounds.
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The work was supported by the Researchers Supporting Project Number (RSP-2020/254) King Saud University Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare that are relevant to the content of this article. All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest or non-financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.
Editorial responsibility: Shahid Hussain.
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Abbasi, U., Bhatti, Z.A., Maqbool, F. et al. Chemidegradation of polychlorinated biphenyls from transformer oil wastewater. Int. J. Environ. Sci. Technol. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13762-021-03177-6
- Transformer oil
- Fenton process