Phytoremediation of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) via phytoextractionEPA Contract Number: 68HE0D18C0018
Title: Phytoremediation of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) via phytoextraction
Investigators: Huff, David
Small Business: Nutter & Associates, Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Project Period: October 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019
Project Amount: $99,583
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2018) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Land Revitalization
NAI has a strategy to identify plant species best suited for proof-of-concept testing for
phytoremediation of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) via phytoextraction. Phytoextraction refers to
the uptake and translocation of contaminants in the soil by plant roots into the aboveground portions of
plants. Once the phytoextraction concepts are proven at the bench-scale (Phase I) and followed with
successful field-scale pilot testing (Phase II), the innovation development will be followed-up with a
commercialization program using a proven patent-protected approach that has been successful with
other phytoremediation processes. Prospects for phytoremediating PFAS-impacted soil and sediments
have recently improved based on recent studies from European researchers (Gobelius, 2016).
To date, PFAS-contaminated soils have been addressed via expensive and energy consumptive
excavation and removal. Phytoextraction is a low-cost and sustainable remedial. With our Phase I
Study we will begin process development for removing PFOS and PFOA through phytoextraction by:
• selecting promising plant species;
• growing plants in soil with known quantities of PFOA or PFOS; and
• removing significant portions of the PFOS/PFOA in soil through phytoextraction.
NAI has short-listed select candidate plant species based on our industry-leading work with land
treatment technology. Our knowledge provides us competitive insight to efficiently identify the best
plant species to test.