Elimination and Detoxification of POPs

Persistent organic pollutants are highly toxic and resistant to degradation, which makes them extremely dangerous to human health and the environment [1.3.2 Negative impact on humans and the environment].

To ensure effective elimination and detoxification of POPs specialists of different academic and professional backgrounds shall be attracted.

These specialists will have to develop universal methods of POPs detoxification, which shall meet the provisions of the Russian Federation and of the Stockholm Convention aimed at the protection of human health and the environment against the POPs impact.

The initial inventory of POPs has identified more than 40.000t of unusable pesticides which require urgent decontamination. 

Presently, there are various methods of detoxification of POPs, such as:

  • Incineration
  • Plasma-chemical destruction
  • Liquid-phase oxidation

However, each of the above-mentioned methods has certain disadvantages. For example, incineration may in some cases lead to the formation of hazardous waste like dioxins, which also require decontamination.

The other existing method of plasma-chemical destruction is not only expensive, but also leads to the formation of various insoluble compounds which need be buried accordingly.

Liquid-phase oxidation implies high energy and capital costs when done with appropriate hardware. Also it is difficult to choose the right dosing of the oxidant; moreover, the method implies the formation of big amounts of high temperature gases, liquid waste whose disposal requires building special disposal facilities.

That is why complex methods of POPs detoxification shall be developed which would have no of the above-mentioned disadvantages and would meet the provisions of the Stockholm Convention and the Russian legislation.

Presently, Russia has large amounts of unused and prohibited pesticides.

Elimination of POPs is one of the steps toward the implementation of the Stockholm Convention. To fulfil the task, a complete inventory of POPs shall be made, so as to provide the following information:

  • The chemical classification of the compound and its degree of uniformity;
  • Volume of POPs in the country
  • Location of storage

Only after this data is available, will it be possible to determine an appropriate disposal process, since in some cases it might be necessary to:

  • Conduct the preliminary separation of mixed compounds;
    • Do the refilling of the chemicals, so that they can be transported to the elimination/decontamination points in accordance with the Sanitary regulations and the provisions of SanPin 1.2.2584-10 from 25.05.2010 “Safety requirements for transportation of pesticides and agricultural chemicals”