The PFAS Destruction Dilemma

PFASs (Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a group of over 8,000 man-made fluorinated chemicals whose widespread use has led to environmental contamination around the world. The chemicals remain in the environment, are called “forever chemicals” and accumulate in our bodies. PFASs exposure has been linked with low birth weight, cancer, immune system disruption, organ damage, infertility, and other health issues. Widespread contamination of drinking water sources has been detected in the U.S. and millions of Americans may have PFAS-contaminated drinking water.

PFASs cannot be broken down with conventional water treatment processes. Current commercial processes adapted for PFAS treatment are carbon adsorption, single-use anion exchange and reverse osmosis. These methods are non-destructive, expensive, not effective for all PFAS chemicals and simply transfer the PFASs to a concentrated waste stream. This waste then needs to be transported off- site for high temperature regeneration, disposal at a suitable landfill or high temperature incineration. Due to the uncertainty of PFAS destruction, incineration is being banned in many locations. Many landfills are refusing to accept PFAS waste due to leaching concerns and impending CERCLA classification. Thus, there is an immediate need for on-site PFAS destruction provided by OXbyEL’s TOF Electrolyzer technology that is effective for all PFAS chemicals, does not generate a secondary PFAS waste stream or harmful emissions, and is low cost.