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Trying to clean PFAS contaminated soil directly in the field

Published: 28 May 2019

PFAS is an environmental pollutant that received much attention during the last decade. PFAS is a non-degradable chemical that, once spread into nature, will remain there almost forever. This property makes the treatment of PFAS a very challenging task. At the moment, there is no established treatment in the market to effectively remediate PFAS contaminated masses.

Now researchers at Luleå University of Technology will combine some of the most promising existing treatment technologies for PFAS published in scientific literature and scale them up to test the applicability of the methods.

"Our goal in this project is to compromise between treatment efficiency and practical applicability in the field to reduce the need to transport polluted masses to treatment facilities or landfills. The ultimate goal is to establish a cost-efficient and sustainable treatment method for PFAS contaminated sites", says Ivan Carabante, Luleå University of Technology.

Professor Jurate Kumpiene and the researcher Ivan Carabante have collaborated in the subject Waste Science and Technology over more than a decade in research projects addressing the remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater.

"The extent of PFAS contamination and the awareness of its risks call for remediation actions from stakeholders, such as problem owners, remediation technology companies and public institutions responsible for environment and health. In this regard, important stakeholders such as Swedavia-Umeå Airport, Dåva DAC, Swerock and Eurowaters have participated in the design and implementation of the project", says Jurate Kumpiene.

This projects will run for three years. During this time, the researchers will develop and optimize treatment methods in lab environments, and then scale them up on a pilot plant provided by the companies Dåva DAC and Swerock, both in the waste industry.

The project Validation of treatment techniques for PFAS-contaminated materials is financed by The Swedish Geotechnical Institute, SGI, and has been granted SEK 2,500,000. The Swedish Geotechnical Institute is an expert authority that works for a safe, efficient and sustainable construction and a sustainable use of land and natural resources.

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