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Soil and groundwater remediation of PFOS/PFOA

Man-made perfluorinated compounds, like PFOS/PFOA, are an increasing threat to our waters and the environment. They are classed as “emerging contaminants”, ie a substance that has a perceived, potential or real threat to human health or the environment (according to US EPA).

These fully fluorinated compounds are not found naturally in nature and research shows that these substances, there are more than 20 varieties, are extremely persistent. Most perfluorinated substances are not biodegradable and studies show that they have the potential to bioaccumulate in nature. PFOS are also water soluble which means that they have a potential to spread readily in water.

PFOS have been found in soil and surface water close to former production facilities but also at sites far away from known sources, which indicates that long transports can occur.

Due to the complex characteristics of perfluorinated compounds not many treatment methods are available. Both activated carbon filters and reverse osmosis has been used to remove PFOs from drinking water. Both these methods require combustion for complete destruction of the waste.

Ozone oxidation treatment solution that works

Natural and efficient cleaning methods are available one example is chemical oxidation with ozone and peroxide. To treat PFOS/PFOS by chemical degradation, a oxidation potential higher than 2,9 V is needed. This can be achieved by a special technique where a mix of ozone and peroxide is injected with nano-sized bubbles. Test shows a results with over 99% removal of PFOS within 60 minutes. With this method a large number of PFC compounds have shown rapid decomposition in both soil and groundwater. The technique has been used for 10 years at sites in both Europe and the US. Applications like these require ozone with a high gas pressure and a high ozone concentration.

For more information on how to clean soil or water from PFOS/PFOA please contact Primozone.

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