Pilot-Testing a Novel “Concentrate-&-Destroy” Technology for ‘Green’ and Cost-Effective Destruction of PFAS in Landfill Leachate
One of the recent recipients of EPA’s latest round of small business research grants is investigating a novel technology for treating PFAS in leachate. This project could fill a key technology gap for cost-effectively treating PFAS in landfill leachate. The technology would provide landfill field engineers and decision-makers with a cost-effective solution and mitigate the health impacts as the relevant regulations are rapidly evolving.
The technology is based on an innovative adsorptive photocatalyst (Fe/TNTs@AC) synthesized by modifying low-cost activated carbon (AC) with a cutting-edge photocatalyst, iron-doped titanate nanotubes (Fe/TNTs). The technology works by first concentrating PFAS in water onto Fe/TNTs@AC, and then completely degrading PFAS under UV or solar light. Bench-scale studies indicated that Fe/TNTs@AC can remove >99% of PFOA or PFOS from water via adsorption within 1 hour and degrade nearly 100% of the adsorbed PFAS within 4 hours of UV irradiation. Complete destruction of PFOA also regenerates the material, allowing for repeated uses.
While conventional AC or resins do not degrade PFAS, and while PFAS-saturated AC or resins are hardly regenerable, PFAS on Fe/TNTs@AC are amenable to efficient photocatalytic degradation, which not only destroys PFAS, but regenerates the material. While direct photochemical treatment of PFAS-laden water is often cost-inhibitive, the new technology employs photocatalytic treatment only for spent Fe/TNTs@AC, which is only a fraction of the raw water volume, and thus consumes much less energy.
Phase I commenced on March 1 and runs through August 31, 2020
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