Transport, cleanup, and bioremediation properties of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) bound to sediments depend on the specific components to which the PCBs are bound. Analysis of the sediment from Contaminant Cove on the St. Lawrence River by gas chromatography with an electron capture detector shows that the sediment contains 600 ppm PCBs. Previous work showed that there were both weak and strong binding of PCBs to sediment components, but gave no indication of which components were responsible for the binding.2 The average content of PCBs is below the limit of detectability by energy-dispersive x-ray microanalysis (EDX) for CI, but constituents which bind large quantities of PCBs could be detected. Sediment which is not contaminated with PCBs contains no detectable chlorine.
EDX analysis was performed on a JEOL JEM-4000FX, using a cryo-stage (operated at -160° C) and a Tracor TN5500 system.