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The triboreactor as breakthrough remediation strategy for safeguarding human and environmental health

Thursday 1 October, 4 PM CET

Besarta Matranxhi

ABSTRACTPolychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitous environmental pollutants found in a variety of environmental media. They are human introduced chemicals and comprise up to 209 congeners. Scientific findings demonstrate that PCBs are persistent in the environment, tend to bioaccumulate in human and animal tissue and have potential for chronic or delayed toxicity. Current remediation technologies to degrade PCBs are disruptive, unsustainable and may transfer them to different environmental reservoirs, rather than eliminating them completely. The triboREMEDY processor to be developed in this project has the long-term target to enable an indispensable environmental remediation technology. The TriboREMEDY project is established between 6 European Partners, where the research work led by VUB, focuses on the proof of concept for the triboreactor (early-lab device) as efficient for PCB degradation. The tribolysis efficacy will be determined by the reduction of PCB concentration relative to untreated samples using CALUX bioassay. The aryl hydrocarbon and estrogenic activities are measured in batch and continuous pilot experiments of PCB mixtures. Considering the initial stage of the project (developing the state-of-the art method, computational simulations, defining the suitable materials/designing parameters, etc.), CALUX measurements have been first performed on pure compounds of PCB congeners that display dioxin-like toxicity.