October 17, 2019, 11 am CDT
“Remediation Options for PFAS-Contaminated Groundwater” by Dr. Michelle Crimi
The historical use of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) formulations containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for firefighting and training activities by the Department of Defense (DoD) has led to concern over the potential for contamination of groundwater at hundreds of sites. Because regulatory guideline concentrations for PFAS are 3 to 4 orders of magnitude lower than concentrations measured at several sites, cost effective treatment approaches are needed which consider the unique chemical properties of PFAS including high solubility, low volatility, emulsification behavior, recalcitrance, and presence as mixtures. This presentation will present viable approaches for treating recalcitrant PFAS and recent related research activity. Technologies of particular focus include sorption, ion exchange, oxidation, sonolysis, and plasma treatment. Challenges and limitations of these approaches, including the presence of precursors and co-contaminants and generation of byproducts will be discussed. The presentation will also highlight research activity at Clarkson University to advance and optimize PFAS treatment technologies, with a particular emphasis on treatment trains for more efficient and effective remediation.
“Capabilities Assessment of Fluorine-Free Foams and Water Additives” by Mr. Jerry Back
Legacy firefighting foams (AFFF) used by DoD are facing increasing regulatory scrutiny throughout the world due to both environmental and human health concerns associated with the fluorinated surfactants. This presentation will describe a two-year effort to assess the capabilities of environmentally friendly AFFF alternatives, including both traditional candidates such as fluorine-free foams and non-traditional options such as wetting agents and other water additives. The goal of the program is to provide an “apples to apples” comparison of the capabilities of the AFFFs currently used by the DoD and commercially available fluorine-free alternatives. The firefighting capabilities will be assessed against a range of representative real-scale scenarios and laboratory/approval scale. Results from the real-scale scenarios will be linked to smaller laboratory/approval scale test results to develop a better understanding of the approval scale test results for assessing firefighting capabilities. The final outcome of the program is to identify potential commercially available agents as alternatives for AFFF. A database of potential firefighting agents will be started for future reference.