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Destruction of PFAS using hydrodynamic cavitation
Title: Principal Investigator
Phone: (603) 640-2438
Phone: (603) 640-2487
We propose to develop an innovative, inexpensive process to destroy poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) and provide safe drinking water to millions of U.S. residents.Need. PFASs are highly resistant to breakdown in the environment and pose risks to developmental, immune, metabolic, and endocrine health. The drinking water supplies for millions of U.S. residents exceed the U.S. EPA’s lifetime health advisory for these substances. The need is to develop a safe, low-cost, rapidly deployable technology that can destroy these compounds.Technology. We propose an innovative redox manipulation technology to destroy PFAS via pyrolysis, bond breakage, and oxidation. The unique characteristics of our approach make it inexpensive to develop and well-suited for rapid deployment to sites with PFAS contamination.Feasibility. Data in the literature support the fundamental basis for PFAS destruction using our technology. Tests in Phase I will demonstrate the feasibility of our approach and yield data needed to design full-scale treatment systems and estimate the cost of destroying PFASs.End Users. Customers for our technology will be municipalities and military bases that must reduce high levels of PFAS in their drinking water.Advantages. Our technology can treat large volumetric flows of water using a compact system built from inexpensive components. The basic process is highly scalable, as multiple stages can be run in parallel and series to achieve a wide range of throughputs and reduction factors. Since the PFASs are destroyed, there is no waste stream and no associated disposal cost.Size of Potential Market. PFASs have been found in drinking water supplies all across the U.S., including the Northeast, Florida, southern California, and the Midwest. The opportunity is to develop PFAS destruction systems that can be applied across the country and used for individual households as well as municipal water systems. For example, in the state of NH alone the cost of meeting new requirements on maximum PFAS contamination is estimated to be $190M (Ropeik 2019) over the next two years.Nationwide the costs will be several $B. Our technology can also be used to oxidize additional water contaminants besides PFASs.Low Life-Cycle Impacts. Our technology destroys PFASs, consumes no water, uses very little power, produces almost no waste (toxic or otherwise) or pollution, and entails minimal disposal costs.
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