Study suggests novel way to tackle PFAS in drinking water

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A study has shown nanofiltration (NF) combined with foam fractionation (FF) can effectively remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from contaminated groundwater, providing a potential solution for drinking water treatment.

PFAS are a type of synthetic chemical, used in consumer products around the world, that have been detected in drinking water sources worldwide. While semi-permeable membrane technologies like reverse osmosis and nanofiltration have demonstrated efficacy in removing PFAS from water, the disposal of PFAS-contaminated concentrate remains a challenge.

Without proper treatment of the concentrate, PFAS re-enters the environment and can remain there for a long time.

The researchers uniquely explored the removal of PFAS from contaminated municipal groundwater sources using a combination of NF for drinking water treatment followed by FF for treating the resulting NF concentrate, which was found to remove 90% of the PFAS.

What is PFAS?

PFAS are a large group of human-made chemicals that have been used in a wide range of consumer products since the 1950s. They are found in various everyday items, including non-stick packaging and cookware, stain-resistant clothing and carpets and firefighting foam.

PFAS molecules have a strong carbon-fluorine bond that makes them resistant to degradation in the environment. This means that PFAS can persist in the environment for a long time and can accumulate in plants, animals, and humans.

Is it harmful?

The health effects of exposure can vary depending on the type of PFAS, the level of exposure, and the individual's age and health.

What does this study mean?

This study provides insights into a potential treatment scheme for PFAS removal from drinking water while addressing the issue of concentrate disposal.

If you are interested in finding out more about PFAS and how this can be tackled, why not check out this story and this story, right here at Make Water Famous.