Radiolytic treatment of dioxin contaminated soils

Kimberly A. Gray*, Roger J. Hilarides

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Recent work in our laboratory has demonstrated that γ-radiolysis is a feasible method by which 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) can be converted to products of negligible toxicity. In the presence of 25% water, 2.5% non-ionic surfactant and at a dose of 800 kGy greater than 98% destruction was achieved in a standard soil artificially contaminated with 100 ppb TCDD. By-product analysis has illustrated that the destruction occurs via step-wise reductive dechlorination producing a suite of lesser chlorinated dioxins. These results in combination with scavenger studies, target theory calculations and yields indicate that direct radiation effects account for the major route of destruction. Radiolysis has also been conducted on a real soil contaminated with TCDD and other chlorinated aromatic compounds verifying the results of model studies. Based on the data of these experiments some designs of batch gamma systems are considered and a discussion of estimated capital and operating costs associated with γ-radiolysis is presented. Given the high costs of the alternatives (i.e. incineration), radiolysis appears to be not only technically feasible, but it may also be economically competitive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1084
Number of pages4
JournalRadiation Physics and Chemistry
Issue number4-6 PART 2
StatePublished - Sep 12 1995


  • Dioxins
  • TCDD
  • direct radiation effects
  • gamma radiolysis
  • reductive dechlorination
  • soil contamination
  • soil remediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation


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