Electrochemical Extraction and Remediation of PFAS in Soils

EPA Contract Number: 68HERD19C0023
Title: Electrochemical Extraction and Remediation of PFAS in Soils
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 - Cleanup of Contaminated Sediments


Due to release of industrial and landfill effluent into the environment, per- and polyfluorinated alkyl species (PFAS) have been accumulating in soil, sediment and groundwater, with subsequent absorption by living organisms. PFAS have the potential to cause multiple adverse health effects, including low birth weight, accelerated puberty, and cancer. Novel approaches for in situ degradation of PFAS in contaminated soils, sediments and groundwaters are required to facilitate efforts to both cleanup and prevent widespread dispersion of these hazardous chemicals. The proposed program would develop an electrokinetic approach for locally concentrating PFAS in soil, in tandem with an electrocatalytic technology for PFAS degradation at that localized site, through the application of pulsed electric field processing. An in-situ electrochemical PFAS remediation technology is anticipated to be readily scalable, efficient, and low-cost, and should find significant market demand. The currently established method for large-scale PFAS remediation to below the 70 parts-per-trillion EPA lifetime health advisory level is activated carbon adsorption, which is extremely costly, generates a PFAS-contaminated waste stream that must be further treated, and is of limited utility for soil-bound PFAS. The flexibility, scalability, and low cost of the proposed technology are anticipated to be significantly favorable as compared to state-of-the-art methods.