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The use of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) for fire training and emergency response has led to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) impact to soil, groundwater, and surface water. With the Department of Defense’s (DoD's) large number of AFFF-impacted sites requiring investigation, monitoring, and interim remedial activities, a large volume of solid and liquid investigation-derived waste (IDW) has been produced. The treatment and disposal of PFAS-containing IDW presents unique challenges as treatment technologies and best practices for handling and disposition are currently evolving. There is a significant need to treat PFAS-impacted solid IDW that is generated as part of soil removal actions. Few viable technologies are currently available for the treatment of PFAS-impacted solid matrices.
The main objective of this proof-of-concept project is to understand the technical feasibility of the application of supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) technology to destroy PFAS-impacted solid matrices in the form of a soil/sludge slurry. The first objective will involve building and testing the basic functionality of the bench-scale SCWO reactor. The second objective will evaluate PFAS destruction using a bench-scale reactor on spiked soil/sludges and evaluate the mass balance. Further, an assessment of the calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2] addition on PFAS destruction will be performed. The third objective will demonstrate SCWO in treating PFAS-impacted solids collected from an AFFF-impacted DoD site.
This research aims to develop a SCWO destruction technology for the treatment of PFAS-impacted solid matrices to demonstrate PFAS destruction in soil/sludge slurries. The technical approach includes:
This research will address the remediation of PFAS-impacted solid matrices by the development of a treatment technology using SCWO. The key benefits of applying SCWO technology to treat soil/sludges are:
The results of this proof-of-concept research will demonstrate the functionality of the reactor to treat solids and destroy PFAS.
(Anticipated Project Completion - 2024)