Electrodialytic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) removal mechanism for contaminated soil

Mattias Sörengård*, Georgios Niarchos, Pernille Erland Jensen, Lutz Ahrens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Contamination of soils with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) is a global problem, in particular at fire-fighter training sites due to the usage of PFAS-containing aqueous fire-fighting foams (AFFFs). In this study, an electrodialytic remediation method was applied for the first time to remove PFASs from contaminated soil. The electrodialytic remediation system was evaluated in a laboratory-scale experiment with current densities of 0.19 mA cm-2 and 0.38 mA cm-2 over 21 days, using PFAS-contaminated soil from a fire-fighter training site at Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Sweden. Of the 23 PFASs targeted, significant (p < 0.05) PFAS electromigration towards the anode was observed for C3-C7 perfluoroalkylcarboxylates (PFCAs) (PFBA, PFPeA, PFHxA, PFOA) and C4, C6, and C8 perfluoroalkane sulfonates (PFSAs)(PFBS, PFHxS, PFOS) since these PFASs were predominantly negatively charged. In contrast to the electromigration of the charged PFASs, N-methyl perfluorooctane sulfonamide (MeFOSA), perfluorooctane sulfonamidoacetic acid (FOSAA) and ethyl FOSAA (EtFOSAA) showed significant (p < 0.05) transport towards the cathode, which is probably attributed to electro-osmotic flow of these predominantly neutralPFASs. Mass balance calculations showed that for the shortest-chained PFASs (i.e., PFBA, PFPeA, PFHxA,PFBS, and PFHxS), up to 20% was extracted from the soil to the anolyte, which showed that electrodialysisis a possible in-situ remediation technique for PFAS-contaminated soil.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-231
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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