Development of 'Smart' Polymer Nanofiber Mats for Selective and Efficient Removal of PFAS from Wastewater

EPA Contract Number: 68HERC20C0057
Title: Development of 'Smart' Polymer Nanofiber Mats for Selective and Efficient Removal of PFAS from Wastewater
Investigators: Feng, Maoqi M
Small Business: Polykala Technologies, LLC
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Phase: II
Project Period: June 1, 2020 through May 31, 2022
Project Amount: $292,848
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (2020) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) , SBIR - Water and Wastewater

Description:

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will perform some needed tests for commercialization of the highly PFAS-selective nanofiber mats fabricated from electrospun polymer nanofibers. The Phase I results have shown the proof of concept for two materials developed for the removal of PFOA and PFOS with over 91% efficiency at very high concentrations (ppm level) and 99% at low concentrations (ppt level). Since the co-contaminants in industrial wastewater are big hurdles for current PFAS treatment technologies, this project will test the materials in pilot plant scale with wastewater samples from landfill leachate.

The advantages of the nanofiber mats include:

1)      A hybrid and synergistic PFAS removal with adsorption/membrane approach;

2)      Smart PFAS-selective adsorption feature;

3)      High loading flow rate;

4)      Energy-efficient regeneration with PFAS recovery for further destruction.

Two functionalized polymer nanofiber mats are fabricated from electrospun polyimide, which is a versatile technique for manufacturing of nanofibers. This project will produce semi-commercial scale quantities of materials which are very promising in reducing the combined PFAS concentration to below 70 ppt from landfill leachate wastewater. The market is growing 19% annually to $11 billion until 2025. The technology is cost-effective and compatible with other treatment processes.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 3 publications for this project

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report

  • SBIR Phase I:

    Development of “Smart” Polymer Nanofiber Mats for Selective andEfficient Removal of PFAS from Landfill Leachate  | Final Report