Electrochemical Pretreatment of PFAS-Contaminated Aqueous Effluents

EPA Contract Number: 68HERD19C0011
Title: Electrochemical Pretreatment of PFAS-Contaminated Aqueous Effluents
Investigators: Skinn, Brian
Small Business: Faraday Technology, Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: I
Project Period: May 1, 2019 through October 31, 2019
Project Amount: $100,000
RFA: Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) PHASE I (2019) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR): Phase 1 (2019) , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Water Quality


The widespread use of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl species (PFAS) chemicals for commercial products and industrial applications has resulted in bioaccumulation of these chemicals in the environment and a public health hazard. Development of novel approaches for in situ degradation of PFAS in industrial and landfill wastewaters would greatly facilitate efforts to prevent discharge of these hazardous materials to the hydrosphere and subsequent exposure to human beings. The electrochemical activity of PFAS has been shown, provided that electrodes with sufficiently high water electrolysis overpotentials are used. Phase I will demonstrate an electrocatalytic technology for complete degradation of PFAS in industrial wastewaters to benign species such as CO 2 , acetates and fluorides, exploiting the power and flexibility of pulsed waveform processing in combination with sophisticated electrode designs and pre-concentration techniques. This stands in contrast to the state-of-the-art activated carbon adsorption method, producing a large PFAS-contaminated waste stream requiring further treatment/disposal. This technology for PFAS destruction in wastewater at the point of generation will be efficient, environmentally friendly, affordable, easily operated, and practically scalable for large flow requirements, including local, state and federal entities. Rapid, efficient PFAS degradation will enable treatment at point-of-release, reducing the likelihood of PFAS discharges requiring further, future remediation.