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PFAS in wastewater and sewage sludge at Uddebo treatment plant, Luleå

Published: 21 October 2022

Jonatan Forsberg, who studied Natural resources engineering with a focus on environment and water, has now completed his degree project "PFAS in a Swedish wastewater treatment plant: An analysis of the effectiveness of major treatment steps on 33 PFAS".

The work is the initial part of a year-long study where the levels of 33 PFAS pollutants are tracked in wastewater and sewage sludge during the treatment process at the Uddebo treatment plant.

The results showed that there was no clear variation in PFAS levels between the different purification steps. However, there was a clear difference between PFAS detected in wastewater and sewage sludge, where sewage sludge only had detectable levels of PFAS with a perfluorinated carbon chain longer than 6. A clear difference in the level of detected PFAS could also be seen between the different sampling occasions, which indicated a possible connection between larger amount of melt water and some PFAS. However, all results require further investigation to see if they are true for the whole year of 2022 or just the first winter months.

Supervisor and examiner at LTU were Kelsey Flanagan and Jurate Kumpiene. The thesis was carried out in collaboration with Luleå municipality.