Technology

Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of synthetic chemicals that have been widely used for more than 60 years to make plastics, firefighting foams, and lubricants, and to help make products stain-resistant, waterproof, and nonstick. Addressing and managing PFAS in the environment is one of the most pressing issues facing EPA and its partners. EPA is partnering with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) and Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP); the Environmental Council of States (ECOS) and the Environmental Research Institute of the States (ERIS); Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy; and Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment to launch a technical challenge regarding the destruction of PFAS. The Challenge asks Solvers to submit detailed plans for a non-thermal way of destroying PFAS in concentrated aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), while creating the least amount of potentially harmful byproducts.

Image credit: Wikipedia/Public Domain

This Theoretical Challenge requires only a written proposal.

Overview

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of synthetic chemicals that have been widely used for more than 60 years to make plastics, firefighting foams, and lubricants, and to help make products stain-resistant, waterproof, and nonstick. Addressing and managing PFAS in the environment is one of the most pressing issues facing EPA and its partners. This issue is particularly challenging because PFAS chemicals have a very strong carbon-fluorine chemical bond that leads to persistence in the environment and makes their complete destruction extremely difficult. Given the ubiquitous nature of PFAS and increasing public concerns, EPA and its state, tribal, local, and federal partners are looking for greater certainty when making decisions about disposal and treatment of PFAS containing materials and PFAS-contaminated media/waste. PFAS compounds are found at different concentrations in various waste streams including aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), bio-solids, ground water, sludge, and soil.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on November 23, 2020.

Source: InnoCentive


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