Superfund Research Program
Remediation of Perfluorinated Chemicals in Water Using Novel High-Affinity Polymer Adsorbents
Project Leader: Gokhan Barin
Grant Number: SB1ES029401
Funding Period: Phase II: September 2022 - August 2023
Contamination of water supplies by toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances is a major health and environmental issue impacting society today. Given the environmental persistence of these contaminants and their established linkage to serious health risks, it is imperative that safe, efficient, and cost-effective PFAS remediation technologies be developed that can eliminate these contaminants from the U.S. water supplies. With the tightening of health-based contamination limits and the expansion of regulated PFAS structures, the impacts of PFAS contamination are now estimated to affect over 200 million Americans. NIEHS sponsored DEXSORB adsorbent represents a breakthrough solution for the safe, rapid, and cost-effective removal of short- and long- chain PFAS compounds, including PFOA and PFOS from water. It takes exacting technology to remove PFAS compounds at the trace levels being mandated by States and the EPA. Made from renewable cyclodextrins, DEXSORB's ability to selectively target PFAS compounds at trace concentrations with rapid uptake, high capacity, and resistance to fouling make it ideally suited for use in private and municipal water treatment systems. Working with environmental partners, the research team has demonstrated the superior performance and favorable life cycle economies of DEXSORB in pilot water treatment activities. To advance further, specific milestones that upon completion will help the research team transition to full commercialization stage have been identified in this CRP proposal. The researchers' main objective in this program will be to seek support for regulatory and manufacturing assistance. Both areas are critical prior to the commencement of full-scale manufacturing and commercialization activities. Safety and health related information and associated experimental data will be collected and organized for material registrations and certifications as required by regulatory agencies including EPA and NSF International. Activities under manufacturing assistance will support developing an optimal purification method that is expected to provide significant cost and process improvements in a full-scale manufacturing environment. Successful completion of this work will enable the research team to transition to large-scale production and work with industry partners to make DEXSORB available to provide PFAS removal for consumer and municipal applications.