Environmental Restoration (ER) Program Area

The objective of this Statement of Need (SON) was to seek fundamental or applied research to develop cost effective in situ treatment technologies for perfluoroalkyl-impacted groundwater. A better understanding of fate and transport properties of perfluoroalkyl chemicals in groundwater was needed, as was a basic understanding of the mechanisms involved in chemical destruction, either via chemical, physical, or microbial means, in order to develop cost-effective remedial technologies. Consideration was also given to common co-occurring chemicals and how these co-occurring chemicals impact degradation, and fate and transport. Proposers were asked to address the following specific objectives:

  • Improve the fundamental understanding of the mechanisms involved in fate and transport processes in groundwater under varying natural and engineered conditions.
  • Determine the impact of co-occurring chemicals on fate and transport processes.
  • Improve the understanding of the behavior of perfluoroalkyl chemicals under typical remedial technologies for co-occurring chemicals. For example, perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) may be present at sites impacted with petroleum hydrocarbons and possibly chlorinated solvents (e.g. historical fire training sites); therefore, understanding the fate of PFOS and PFOA during monitored natural attenuation or enhanced anaerobic dechlorination was critical.
  • Develop remedial strategies for perfluoroalkyl chemicals, including consideration of the necessity for treatment train approaches to facilitate treatment of co-occurring chemicals.

The projects listed below were selected to address the objectives of this SON. Additional information on individual projects can be found by clicking the project title.

Research in this area should lead to developing a greater understanding of the chemical, physical, and microbial processes involved in degrading or removing perfluoroalkyl sulfonates and perfluoroalkyl carboxylates from environmental media and will help facilitate the establishment of more cost-effective and efficient remedial action plans that are protective of human health and the environment. The remediation approaches that will be developed through this SON will improve the reliability of chemical treatment processes and expedite the cleanup/closure of impacted DoD sites.