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RAPID REMOVAL OF POLY- AND PERFLUORINATED COMPOUNDS FROM INVESTIGATION-DERIVED WASTE (IDW) IN A PILOT-SCALE PLASMA REACTOR
Singh, R.K., N. Multari, C. Nau-Hix, R.H. Anderson, S.D. Richardson, T.M. Holsen, et al.
Environmental Science & Technology 53(19):11375-11382(2019)

A pilot-scale plasma reactor installed into an 8 20 ft2 mobile trailer was used to degrade 12 PFAS compounds in 13 liquid investigation-derived waste (IDW) samples from site investigations at Air Force installations. Total PFAS concentrations (PFCAs and PFSAs) ranged from 2.7-1440 µg/L and PFOS+PFOA concentrations ranged from 365-73700 ng/L. Plasma-based water treatment resulted in rapid PFAAs removal from 4-L individual IDW samples with faster rates for longer-chain PFCAs (C ≥ 8) and PFSAs (C &ge 6). In 9 of the 13 IDW samples, both PFOS and PFOA were removed to below EPA's health advisory concentration level concentrations in <1 min. A ≤50-minute treatment time was required for the remaining four IDW samples. This was likely due to either extremely high solution electrical conductivity, which decreased the plasma-liquid contact area, or high concentrations of PFAAs and their precursors. Precursors were converted to PFAAs during the treatment. Overall, 36-99% of the concentration present in the IDWs was removed during the treatment. There was no effect of non-PFAS co-contaminants on the degradation efficiency.



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