12 Sep 2022

Novel PFAS degradation method

On 18 August, Science magazine reported scientists at Northwestern University and the University of California (US) have discovered a novel method to degrade carboxylic acid–containing PFAS. The cutting-edge new scientific method is a cost-effective and low-energy degradation process of PFAS at high concentrations in nonaqueous solvents by using PFAS adsorbents that can be regenerated using a simple solvent wash. This enables the destruction of these compounds after they have been removed from water resources. The resulting products are harmless organic molecules and fluoride ions. The breakthrough has been widely reported by international news outlets such as The Guardian, BBC News, The New York Times, The Financial Times as well as by Chemical Watch. 

While substances such as PFAS may be persistent, this breakthrough demonstrates that science will progress to develop better and efficient ways of disposing of chemicals.