Remediation of Poly- and Perfluoro Alkyl Substances: New Remediation Technologies for Emerging Challenges

Tuesday, August 8, 2017: 2:00 p.m.
Jeffrey McDonough , Arcadis, San Francisco, CA
Ian Ross, Ph.D. , Arcadis, Manchester, United Kingdom
Jake Hurst , Leeds, United Kingdom
Jeff Burdick , Arcadis, Newtown, PA
Erika Houtz, Ph.D. , Arcadis, San Francisco, CA
Tessa Pancras , Arcadis, Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Background/Objectives. Poly- and perfluoro alkyl substances (PFAS) comprise a diverse class of contaminants which include PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid). PFAS are not amenable to bioremediation or conventional chemical oxidation and are difficult to remediate in situin soil and groundwater systems. Further complicating the remediation challenges are the presence of precursor PFAS that are often present at locations where class B firefighting foams has been released and are not analysed for by standard analytical laboratory methods (US EPA method 537). These precursors can act as a source of perfluorinated carboxylates and sulphonates, as some precursors are less mobile but they all will biotransform over time forming perfluorinated compounds as dead end daughter products.

Approach/Activities. Innovative and emerging remediation solutions for PFAS include a number of types of technologies to address highly concentrated source zones, mitigate mass flux of impacts to aquifers or address PFAS in abstracted water. Use of granular activated carbon (GAC) to treat PFAS will only effectively remove a proportion of these contaminants from groundwater, whilst offering a very low binding capacity for PFOS (as compared to hydrocarbons), so can be costly. Challenges of more comprehensive PFAS treatment in water are currently addressed using technologies such as reverse osmosis or nano-filtration. There are new precipitation technologies for water treatment such as PerFluorAd, novel ion exchange resins, sonolysis, generation of solvated electrons, thermal approaches and sorptive media which show promise and will be summarized.

Results/Lessons Learned. Recent results from laboratory trials with several technology will be presented.

Jeffrey McDonough, Arcadis, San Francisco, CA
Jeffrey McDonough is a senior environmental engineer at ARCADIS U.S. He has extensive experience with in situ remediation, specializing in design and implementation of tracer tests for remediation applications. McDonough has overseen dozens of successful in situ tracer and bioremediation applications across the country. His current interests include design of innovative tools to streamline and simplify in situ remedies.

Ian Ross, Ph.D., Arcadis, Manchester, United Kingdom

Jake Hurst, Leeds, United Kingdom

Jeff Burdick, Arcadis, Newtown, PA

Erika Houtz, Ph.D., Arcadis, San Francisco, CA
Erika Houtz, Ph.D., a project engineer at Arcadis with a focus on emerging contaminants, has seven years of experience analyzing poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), and characterizing their fate in the environment. She developed the total oxidizable precursor (TOP) assay as a way of measuring difficult-to-detect PFAS compounds. Houtz holds a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Tessa Pancras, Arcadis, Apeldoorn, Netherlands