PCBs/PCB-contaminated waste

PCBs/PCB-contaminated waste

A unique, innovative and more ecological process

The highly innovative treatment process developed by our APROCHIM site is unique in France. It uses a high-vacuum desorption method. The PCBs are vacuumed out (in gaseous phase) and this avoids dismantling the contaminated transformers. This method replaces extraction by perchloroethylene technology (a polluting solvent) and leads to a significant reduction in toxicity along with the quantity of waste produced by the treatment.

Six consecutive steps are necessary (cycle uses a limited amount of electricity for a 12 to 28 hour period):

  1. Slight depressurisation.
  2. Inertia under nitrogen.
  3. Heat treatment.
  4. High-vacuum pumping.
  5. Cooling and vapour condensation.
  6. Cooling by oxygen and inertia under nitrogen to be able to take out the transformers.

The CHIMIREC Group process neutralises the pollutant so that it can be dechlorinated on our site or incinerated at our partner incineration centre. The products that have been decontaminated (

An eco-logical service

With both its acknowledged know-how and the fact that it has created an innovative procedure, APROCHIM can ensure that PCB-contaminated waste is collected, treated and recycled.

  • Analyses: we analyse your waste before providing a quote or when admitting it on our site using an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer to detect the PCBs and using gas-phase chromatography to determine their content.
  • Tests: our laboratory tests for the absence of residual contamination (in recoverable material) and initiates a check on the environmental impact of the decontamination process.
  • Collection: we collect the contaminated material under conditions that conform to regulations pertaining to the transport of hazardous material (our fleet of trucks adheres to ADR regulations).
  • Treatment: as the developer and owner of the high-vacuum treatment, we are able to offer our clients a long term decontamination solution that protects both the environment and people's health.
  • Recovery: the decontaminated products (

Treatment capacity: 30,000 tons per year of PCB solid material and mineral oil.
(Byelaw N° 2006-P-953 bis of 30 June 2006).

Find out more about our treatment centre for PCB-contaminated products: APROCHIM

Our process is clean and has a high level of performance; it guarantees atmospheric emissions that are lower than European norms, it reduces risks to the health of personnel by a considerable degree and it uses very little energy.

  • First prize in the ‘Trophé des Technologies Economes et Propres' (Clean and Resource-efficient Technologies Trophy) awarded by ADEME ‘Agence De l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Energie' (Agency for the Environment and Energy Control) (2006 POLLUTEC).
  • 1st Prize in the Energy Globe Award (France 2007).
  • Threefold Quality, Safety, Environment Certification.

>> For more information on our CHIMIREC APROCHIM site


Type of waste we handle

Transformers, capacitors, PCB-contaminated mineral oil, PCB-contaminated earth and rubble.

Material and Energy Recovery

Recovering the metal

  • direct recycling of each type of metal at the foundry - reused as is (ferrosilicon plate).

Recovering the liquids

  • reuse of the oil.
  • hydrochloric acid synthesis.
  • energy recovery.

Cellulosics: Decontamination of cellulosic material

  • incineration.
  • energy recovery.


Ozone Layer protection

Our unique method in France protects the Ozone Layer by providing an environmental accountability which is much better than that of any other technique currently used. Indeed, contrary to the ‘by extraction' method, our high-vacuum desorption process does not use perchloroethylene, a very harmful solvent which impacts on the Ozone Layer.