The presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the environment is one of the most pressing environmental issues facing our nation. PFAS chemicals have been manufactured and widely used around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s, to make plastics, firefighting foams and lubricants, and to help make products stain-resistant, waterproof and nonstick. The unique chemical characteristics of PFAS lead to their persistence in the environment and make their complete destruction extremely difficult.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been aggressively working to find solutions to address PFAS issues in communities across the nation, including establishment of EPA’s PFAS Innovative Treatment Team (PITT) in spring 2020. The PITT was a six-month, dedicated full-time team of multi-disciplined EPA researchers brought together to concentrate their scientific efforts on exploring disposal and destruction options for PFAS-contaminated waste.
During the PITT’s operation, the team worked together to:
* Assess current and emerging PFAS destruction technologies being explored by EPA, universities, other research organizations and industry.
* Explore the efficacy of these PFAS destruction technologies, including consideration of potentially hazardous byproducts.
* Evaluate the feasibility, performance and cost of various PFAS destruction methods to better understand potential solutions.
This presentation will highlight the results of the PITT’s research and next steps for PFAS waste treatment technologies.