Masters Theses


Lijun Fan


"Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were used in a broad range of industrial applications and became widely distributed in the environment prior to the recognition that they posed a significant persistent environmental hazard. Because of their high hydrophobicity, these molecules tend to bio-accumulate and resist degradation under normal ambient conditions. Solvent extraction is often considered the technique of choice for moderately contaminated sites because of its high efficiency and low cost. However, traditional solvents can present unfavorable environmental consequences in soils.

Readily biodegradable solvents hold considerable potential in remediation of PCBs contaminated sites. Because of its ready availability and low cost, methyl soyate (MS) i.e. methyl soyate of soybean oil is of particular interest in the United States as an attractive alternative to the traditional solvents. The research reported in this thesis was designed to explore the use of MS for remediation of PCBs contaminated soils. Soils with known level of PCBs contamination were extracted with MS under varied conditions. PCBs present in the MS extracts and soils before and after extractions were analyzed with a gas chromatography (GC) equipped with an electron capture detector (ECD). In addition, biodegradation of MS in terrestrial and aquatic environments was also investigated to evaluate its potential environmental consequences.

The results showed that nearly 90 percent of PCBs could be removed through a three-cycle MS extraction. The biodegradation studies showed that MS readily biodegrades in natural terrestrial and aquatic environments. The results thus clearly indicate that MS extraction is a viable option for decontamination of PCB-contaminated soils"--Abstract, page iii.


Kapila, Shubhender

Committee Member(s)

Ma, Yinfa
Forciniti, Daniel



Degree Name

M.S. in Chemistry


University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

Summer 2004


x, 84 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 75-83).


© 2004 Lijun Fan, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Soil remediation -- Technological innovations
Soy oil -- Research
Polychlorinated biphenyls -- Environmental aspects

Thesis Number

T 8600

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #


Link to Catalog Record

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