Superfund Research Program
Green Remediation Sponge for Poly- and Perfluorinated Alkyl Substances
Project Leader: David Dumas
Grant Number: R43ES030678
Funding Period: Phase I: March 2019 - April 2020
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) like perfluorooctane acid (PFOA) and sulfonate (PFOS) are increasingly being recognized as U.S. and global environmental concerns. Their best-known uses include providing fabrics with stain and water resistance and nonstick properties to cookware, in firefighting foams, and in the manufacture of electronic products. Qualities such as durability that have made PFASs a desirable chemical also contribute to their persistence in the environment and in the human body, where they can cause reproductive and developmental, liver, kidney, immunological effects; cancer; and thyroid hormone disruption. It has now been shown that PFAS contamination of drinking water and groundwater poses a significant and immediate health hazard that demands response and, at one contaminated site, has triggered an EPA Superfund designation. Unfortunately, there are no effective remediation methods for PFAS, and any attempt at widespread treatment plans would be prohibitively expensive. This SBIR effort will validate a solution to this problem by designing, synthesizing, and demonstrating novel custom-designed adsorbents that can be used as passive and easily regenerated PFAS sponges.