These Technologies Aim to Destroy PFAS in Water

These Technologies Aim to Destroy PFAS in Water

Researchers are developing a battery of new treatments to better target and ultimately obliterate fluorinated contaminants in water supplies.

By Kerri Jansen, Chemical & Engineering News

Nonpolymer per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), used to manufacture many nonstick and stain-repellent household products, have been detected in drinking water in hundreds of locations around the US and beyond. Exposure to some of these chemicals has been linked to harmful health effects. Because the molecules contain tough carbon-fluorine bonds, once they leak into the environment, they are persistent.

Commonly used adsorbent technologies at water treatment facilities trap the chemicals, but they are vulnerable to clogging, and they collect the PFAS, which then need to be disposed of. Now, chemists are not only designing new adsorbents that better target PFAS and don’t clog as often but also developing treatment methods to completely destroy the molecules rather than merely sequestering them.

Read the entire report by Kerri Jansen on Chemical & Engineering News