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Applied and Environmental Soil Science
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 5390808, 11 pages
Research Article

Integrated Nanozero Valent Iron and Biosurfactant-Aided Remediation of PCB-Contaminated Soil

Northern Region Persistent Organic Pollution Control (NRPOP) Laboratory, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL, Canada A1B 3X5

Received 24 February 2016; Accepted 28 April 2016

Academic Editor: Ezio Ranieri

Copyright © 2016 He Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs) have been identified as environmental hazards for years. Due to historical issues, a considerable amount of PCBs was released deep underground in Canada. In this research, a nanoscale zero valent iron- (nZVI-) aided dechlorination followed by biosurfactant enhanced soil washing method was developed to remove PCBs from soil. During nZVI-aided dechlorination, the effects of nZVI dosage, initial pH level, and temperature were evaluated, respectively. Five levels of nZVI dosage and two levels of initial pH were experimented to evaluate the PCB dechlorination rate. Additionally, the temperature changes could positively influence the dechlorination process. In soil washing, the presence of nanoiron particles played a key role in PCB removal. The crude biosurfactant was produced using a bacterial stain isolated from the Atlantic Ocean and was applied for soil washing. The study has led to a promising technology for PCB-contaminated soil remediation.