We investigated the extraction of halogenated hydrophobic organic contaminants (HHOCS) from soil, and the subsequent catalytic hydrodehalogenation of extracted HHOCs. We used water/ethanol mixtures as the solvent and pentachlorophenol and 1,2,4,5–tetrachlorobenzene as target contaminants. The efficiency of extraction improved with increasing contact time and/or increasing ethanol fraction in the solvent, but, surprisingly, did not improve with increasing solvent volume. Tetrachlorobenzene extracted from the contaminated soil could be dehalogenated catalytically, with no apparent interference or inhibition caused by the extraction process. This suggests that a proposed new remediation technology (called remedial extraction and catalytic hydrodehalogenation, or REACH) should be technically viable.
Keywords: soil contamination, solvent extraction, ethanol, palladium, catalyst, dechlorination, hydrodehalogenation, tetrachlorobenzene, pentachlorophenol, remediation, enviornmental pollution, halogenated hydrophobic organic contaminants