Removal of Per- and Polyfluorinated Chemicals

Removal of PFCs

Since the turn of the century, specialist literature and the press have been reporting more and more about environmental pollution due to per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) through industrial wastewater, the use of fire extinguishers and contaminated sludge. Due to their anthropogenic origin, there are no natural degradation reactions for the compounds classified as persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic.

For the remediation of the affected areas and waters in Germany primarily adsorption methods based on activated charcoal are used. The disadvantages of activated charcoal are, however, their performance vis-à-vis the adsorption of PFCs. The mobility of PFCs in water, which stimulates a competing reaction between the anthropogenic stressors dissolved in the water and non-toxic bonds, as well as the various adsorption capacities of the PFCs on the surface, causes the adsorption capacity to sink and thus also the efficiency of the existing procedure. The ion exchanger applications also have not yet yielded the desired values for an economical PFCs reduction. In addition, the already expensive regeneration measures for ion exchangers (as a rule, large quantities of solvent are required) are inefficient and uneconomical.

For the removal of PFCs from burdened areas and industrial wastewater, Wasser 3.0 is working on reactive silyl-based precursors. That and the knowledge of the behavior of fluoro-organic compounds in water form the foundation for the research for our work on the project RE-Fluor-X.