This SERDP and ESTCP webinar focuses on DoD-funded research efforts to develop and demonstrate technologies for PFAS destruction in concentrated liquid waste streams. Specifically, investigators will discuss the validation of a novel photocatalytic media and the demonstration of hydrothermal alkaline treatment for PFAS treatment.


“Validation of a UV/TiO2 Activated Alkaline Media for Destruction of PFAS in Concentrated Liquid Waste Streams” by Dr. Megan Hart (ER19-1403)

PFAS are ubiquitous and pose a potential threat to human health and the natural environment. First developed as a water and stain repellent, these products were utilized extensively to control high intensity, petroleum-based fires as part of a blanketing, aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) that was used to extinguish flames rapidly. UV/SGM is a technology that was developed by University of issouri, Kansas City, and validated by SERDP for destroying PFAS present in concentrated liquids, thereby allowing liquids to be reused in the treatment process or discharged to the environment. From bench scale to pilot demonstration, UV/SGM has provided treatment possibilities for complex matrices of liquid or foam waste streams, including regenerable ion exchange resin concentrate, foam fractionate, reverse osmosis reject, and neat AFFF. In comparison to other treatment alternatives at similar technology development levels, UV/SGM provided better removal results than currently marketed and commercialized technologies at a lower rate of electrical consumption.

“Demonstration of a Pilot-Scale Continuous Hydrothermal Alkaline Treatment (HALT) System for DoD-Relevant, PFAS-Impacted Matrices” by Dr. Brian Pinkard (ER21-7591)

Hydrothermal alkaline treatment (HALT) is a PFAS destruction process that converts PFAS into inorganic salts (e.g., NaF, Na2CO3) under subcritical water conditions (>300 ˚C, ~20 MPa, pH > 14). HALT is unique in its ability to treat complex wastewaters with high total dissolved solids and high total organic carbon and its ability to destroy all types of PFAS with greater than 99% destruction efficacy. This presentation will present results from ongoing efforts to couple HALT with two matrices, sorbent regeneration brines and foam fractionates. Regenerable sorbent and foam fractionation technologies are both being piloted for DoD groundwater treatment applications and are relevant for ongoing site remediation activities. Case studies will be presented treating both matrices in a pilot-scale HALT system under various operating conditions. A range of analytical techniques, including fluoride ion selective electrode (ISE), targeted LC-MS/MS analysis, and total organofluorine measurements, will be presented to quantify destruction and defluorination. Ongoing efforts to optimize HALT operating conditions to reduce chemical usage will also be discussed.

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Megan Hart is an associate professor at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, specializing in developing technologies for treatment and control of hazardous substances in the environment, as well as emerging contaminants of concern. She is an internationally recognized subject matter expert for remediation techniques and applications. With multiple patent pending technologies, service to the Interstate Technology Regulatory Commission (ITRC), and subject matter expertise to the public and governmental agencies, Dr. Hart’s PFAS experience extends beyond treatment into controlling and mitigating PFAS migration from impacted matrices to the environment. She is a registered geologist in the State of Missouri, has authored many papers in the area of contaminant remediation, and partners with industry to tackle complex contamination concerns. Dr. Hart received a bachelor’s degree in geological and earth sciences/geosciences from Western Washington University and a doctoral degree in geological/geophysical engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla.

Dr. Brian Pinkard is the CTO and co-founder of Aquagga, a clean technology startup based in Tacoma, Washington. Aquagga is focused on bringing emerging PFAS technologies to market. Dr. Pinkard has served as co-principal investigator on SBIR/STTR projects funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Air Force, and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and on contracts from SERDP, ESTCP, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the NDCEE program. His primary area of technical expertise is in the reaction kinetics and mechanisms of recalcitrant compounds reacting under hydrothermal conditions, including subcritical and supercritical water environments. For his work at Aquagga, Dr. Pinkard was included on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2023 and was awarded First Prize in the USEPA’s Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS Challenge in 2021. He also holds an Affiliate Assistant Professor appointment in the University of Washington Mechanical Engineering Department. Dr. Pinkard received a bachelor's degree from Lafayette College. He received a master’s degree and a doctoral degree from the University of Washington.