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Study of chlordecone desorption from activated carbons and subsequent dechlorination by reduced cobalamin

Ranguin, Ronald, Durimel, Axelle, Karioua, Reeka, Gaspard, Sarra
Environmental science and pollution research international 2017 v.24 no.33 pp. 25488-25499
Cosmopolites sordidus, HCH (pesticide), activated carbon, adsorbents, adsorption, chlordecone, dechlorination, desorption, endothermy, ethanol, filters, food chain, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, hydrogen bonding, intermediate product, isomers, pollutants, solvents, sugarcane bagasse, temperature, vitamin B12, water treatment, zinc, Guadeloupe, Martinique
Since 1972, the French departments of Guadeloupe and Martinique have intensively used organochlorinated pesticides such as chlordecone (CLD) and hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) isomers to prevent the proliferation of banana weevil (Cosmopolite sordidus). These molecules are stable in the environment, leading to a continuous contamination of soils, water, and food chain in the banana-producing areas. In these polluted areas, water treatment plants are equipped with activated carbon (AC) filters. In order to improve treatment of CLD-contaminated waters by AC, CLD adsorption and desorption kinetic studies are carried out using different ACs produced from sugar cane bagasse as adsorbents and subsequent CLD degradation is performed using reduced vitamin B12 (VB12). A GC-MS method for CLD quantification is as well optimized. This study shows that bagasse ACs are able to capture the pollutant, leading to a CLD concentration decrease from 1 to 73 μg L⁻¹, with an adsorption capacity of 162 μg mg⁻¹. Adsorption capacity increase with the temperature indicates an endothermic process. Polar solvents favor CLD desorption from ACs, suggesting hydrogen bonding between CLD and surface groups of ACs, the best solvent for chemical desorption being ethanol. Subsequent degradation of CLD in ethanol is performed using vitamin B12 reduced by either 1,4-dithiotreitol (DTT) or zerovalent zinc, leading to 90% of CLD removal and to the molecule cage structure opening for formation of a pentachloroindene intermediate product, characterized by GC MS/MS. A pathway for pentachloroindene formation from CLD is proposed.