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Sovtol Detoxication


Development of Technology for Sovtol and Sovtol Containing Equipment Detoxication

Tech Area / Field

  • CHE-IND/Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Process Engineering/Chemistry
  • ENV-OTH/Other/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Genisaretskaya S V

Leading Institute
State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology, Russia, Moscow


  • Emergencies Science and Technology Division Environment Canada, Canada, ON, Ottawa

Project summary

The mixture of isomers of polychlorinated biphenils and trichlorobenzenes, called sovtol, has found wide application in our country and abroad as a perfect electroinsulating and autoestinguishing compound in the production of power transformers and condensers.

At the same time, sovtol possesses dangerous biological properties which are exhibited in suppression of the immune system of the man and animals. There are data on sovtol cancerogenic properties. According to the GOST 12.1.007-76, sovtol is related to substances of danger class II. PCB (sovtol) is included in the group of 12 stable organic nature pollutants, which were chosen by UNEP as having priority on danger to the human health. Almost all of PCB and their mixtures possess the toxicity similar to that of dioxides and represent xenobiotic precursors. Therefore, problem of PCB handling has been included into the programmes of waste monitoring and dioxines destruction in all developed countries.

In this connection, in the developed countries the production of sovtol and operation of electrochemical equipment with sovtol filling has been stopped. It resulted in its accumulation in plenties. By rough calculations, only in Russia the volume of sovtol contained in the equipment is estimated in 150 thousand tons.

Therefore, development of the ecologically safe technology of sovtol and sovtol containing equipment detoxication is an urgent problem having an important applied significance.

The most perspective of known methods of sovtol detoxication is the method permitting to introduce a salifying sulfogroup into the aromatic structure of the sovtol molecule with consequent conversion into product PCDS-T which is water soluble, nonconbustible, nonvolatile and low toxic substance (danger class IV). This method of PCB (sovtol) detoxication has no analogues abroad and is protected by the patent of Russian Federation № 2076090 with priority from 30.11.94.

According to preliminary experimental outcomes, the aqueous solution of PCDS-T can be utilized as an antiseptic for the merchantable wood in the wood working industry and as a repellent for the young growing wood.

This method allows making the sovtol processing ecologically safe.

In development of these activities it is expedient to develop technology of sovtol and sovtol containing equipment detoxication and also technology of detoxication and utilization of waste formed in the operation areas of the electric equipment with sovtol filling to expand the range of new synthesized products and their application in different branches of the industry.

The purposes of the project.

– development of ecologically safe technology for sovtol detoxication;
– development of technology for sovtol containing equipment detoxication;
– development of technology for detoxication and utilization of waste formed on the operation areas of electric equipment with sovtol filling.

The description of the project activities.

1. Development of sovtol detoxication technology.

The choice and optimization of sovtol detoxication method will be carried out; the methods of identification and quantitative analysis of raw materials, intermediate and end products, and waste will be developed; the toxicity and danger class will be estimated; the technological parameters will be optimized; the basic technological loop will be chosen; the experimental data for designing a pilot plant will be obtained.

2. Sanitary - toxicological evaluations of the sovtol detoxication on laboratory animals.

3. Development of the technology of sovtol containing equipment detoxication.

The methods of the sovtol containing equipment detoxication permitting to achieve a safe degree of cleaning will be chosen; the techniques to analyze sovtol residual contents on surfaces of the equipment and in a solvent will be developed; the choice of the basic technological loop, its improvement in laboratory variant, optimization of technological parameters and receiving data for designing will be carried out.

4. Development of technology for detoxication and utilization of waste formed in the operation areas of electric equipment with sovtol filling.

The identification and certification of waste will be carried out; the methods of their detoxication will be chosen; the methods for analytical monitoring of waste detoxication, the basic technological loop of the process will be developed.

Significance of the project for solution of the problem.

The development of the technology of sovtol and sovtol containing equipment detoxication will allow:

– solving the problem of sovtol stocks processing by ecologically safe methods;
– receiving new chemical products;
– carrying out repairs, disassembly, detoxication and salvaging of the electrotechnical equipment, put out of service, by ecologically safe methods.

Expected results and application.

The offered work concerns to applied research; its implementation should result in the following outcomes:

– The ecologically safe technology of sovtol detoxication will be developed giving new low toxic synthesis products. As a whole, the technology is low waste. Its realization does not require large material inputs.

– The technology of sovtol containing equipment detoxication will be developed. It assumes either its further use by washing out from sovtol and refilling by ecologically safe dielectric, or salvaging as scrap.

Meeting ISTC Goals and Objectives.

The proposed project will provide FGUP GITOS scientists and engineers, earlier related to development of the chemical weapon, the opportunities to redirect their abilities to peaceful activities. Cooperation with ISTC will promote integration of FGUP GITOS scientists into the international scientific community. The creation of the technology for sovtol and sovtol containing equipment detoxication which can be realized in FGUP GITOS will reinforce transferring the enterprise to the market economies.

Scope of activities.

The project consists of 4 tasks:

1. Development of technology for sovtol detoxication.

2. Sanitary - toxicological evaluation of sovtol detoxication process on laboratory animals.
3. Development of the technology for sovtol containing equipment detoxication.
4. Development of technology for detoxication and salvaging waste formed on operation areas of the electrotechnical equipment with sovtol filling.

Role of the foreign collaborators/partners.

The scope of cooperation with foreign institutions may be specified as following:

– information maintenance of the project, preparation of joint state-of-the-art reviews;
– evaluation of technologies and cross-check of results;
– seminars in order to discuss the results of work and participation in technical monitoring of project activities performed by ISTC staff;
– conduction of joint symposiums and seminars, assistance in their organization.

The participants of the project invite to cooperation scientific, commercial and private foreign organizations from countries – participants of ISTC (European community, USA, Japan, Norway, Southern Korea).

The technical approach and methodology.

The methodology includes the following:

– The direction of the technological development will be based on experience of preceding GITOS activities and will be corrected by the experimental data obtained during the project fulfillment.

– Choice of methods of sovtol detoxication will be determined by its ecologically safe level content in new synthesized products as well as on the equipment and waste surfaces.
– The optimization criteria of the chosen methods of detoxication are maximal yield of new synthesized products with due regard for their specifications, minimization of work cost and reduction of waste amount.

The technical approach includes the following:

– Sovtol detoxication process and synthesis of new chemical products will be conducted using either known methods or ones developed during the project fulfillment.

– Sanitary - toxicological evaluation of sovtol detoxication process will be carried out by standard techniques on laboratory.
– Methods of analytical and sanitary control of the technological processes will be developed using element analysis, IR-, NMR- and mass- spectroscopy, gas-liquid chromatography.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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