Treatment of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances With S-PAC and Ceramic Membranes



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Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are a contaminant of major concern. The US EPA issued a health advisory limit of 70 ng/L for the two most widely known compounds, PFOS and PFOA, individually or combined. Superfine powdered activated carbon (S-PAC) removes PFASs through adsorption and is followed by membrane filtration to remove the S-PAC particles. S-PAC differs from the traditional treatment train involving granular activated carbon (GAC) in that it has a much smaller particle diameter than GAC. Therefore, S-PAC should remove PFASs more efficiently from water. Ceramic membranes are a promising option for filtering S-PAC from water due to material properties. Both isotherm and microfiltration samples reached over 3 log removal of PFOS, the most concentrated contaminant. This equates to >99.9% removal. This project was completed with contributions from Christopher Bellona from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado School of Mines.