The overall objective of this project is to demonstrate a cost-effective and sustainable chemical reductive technology for the on-site destructive treatment of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in a concentrated waste stream. The technology can also degrade co-occurring chemicals such as chlorinated volatile organic compounds. The technology is primarily based on hydrated electrons generated in an ultraviolet (UV)/sulfite system. Specific objectives are to:
The hydrated electron is one of the most reactive species, with a standard reduction potential of about −2.9 volts. It has demonstrated excellent performance in cleaving carbonfluoride (C−F) bonds and has been shown to be effective in degrading (e.g., defluorinating) PFAS compounds. Hydrated electron in a UV/sulfite system offers unparalleled advantages for PFAS destruction when compared to other technologies, including:
PFAS represent a liability with growing urgency for the Department of Defense (DoD), as there are more than one thousand military installations that require investigation and remediation. A recent report prepared by the Congressional Budget Office estimated it will cost DoD billions of dollars to address this PFAS liability. This project will demonstrate an innovative destructive technology for PFAS in concentrated waste streams that may be generated from groundwater treatment processes, foam delivery system cleaning, or investigation-derived waste. This technology will offer an on-site treatment technology, thereby reducing or avoiding expensive off-site thermal incineration or disposal at a landfill. The technology can be potentially applied to thousands of DoD installations where PFAS waste streams are generated, achieving significant cost savings for the DoD. (Anticipated Project Completion - 2024).
Yu, X-Y., C. Yang, J. Gao, Z.J. Xiong, X. Siu, L. Zhong, Y. Zhang, and J. Son. 2023. Molecular Detection of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Water Using Time-of-flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry. Frontier in Chemistry, 11:1253685. doi.org/10.3389/fchem.2023.1253685.