Canadian University Introduces PCB Cleanup System

University of Calgary process uses ultraviolet light.

September 20, 2013
CDR Staff

Scientists from the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta, say they have developed a safer and more effective way to clean up dangerous polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from the environment using ultraviolet (UV) light. University researchers say the new approach is the first time that this method to clean up PCBs has been used.

The announcement on the technology follows 13 years of research and development on the project by university researchers.

At the present time cleaning PCBs requires the transportation of contaminated soil to one of two specialized incinerators in Canada. The university says that its new technology significantly improves the cleanup process. The system is housed in a 15 meter-shipping container and uses UV rays for on-site cleanup. Researchers say the new PCB cleanup method is safer, less expensive and the decontaminated soil is then safely returned to its original location.

The University of Calgary project was made possible by funding from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and was completed in partnership with SAIT Polytechnic, TransCanada Corp. Innovate Calgary and IPAC Services Corp.