It is always confusion when a name is used for a group of chemicals with different types of applications. From firefighting foam to high temperature resistant coatings,… various applications come in view.

PFAS and PFOS are actually particuraly designed chemicals, which makes them closer related to pharmaceuticals, than more generic chemicals. The applications are so broad that we find them in matrasses, food packaging and all sorts of plastics coating applications.

Because they are often heat resistant, they cannot be easily processed in a thermal desorption unit. Normally, either thermal desorption units of landfills are the end-of-pipe solutions. Given the low threshold values for some of the chemicals, landfilling is not advised. So, what remains is incineration. But incinerators are not build to cope with high ash residues and incineration is quite an expensive solution.

Because some of the PFAS or PFOS substances are patented, it is easy to track them back to their producers. Pharmaceutical companies in Europe often used a specific thermal unit operated in Germany. To treat and destroy their contaminated soils. The process for this particular unit was called ‘pyrolysis’. Where the soils were heated upto 800┬░C under an oxygene deplete atmosphere. Unfortunately, the unit caught fire and was never reconstructed.

So, with no real tangible market solutions. What should happen with the contaminated PFAS soils ? It has become clear of the recent years that PFAS are being considered as POP’s and thus legally (could) fall under the Stockholm Convention. This means that anyone handling and treating PFAS would need to take precautions in line with the Stockholm convention.

Categorie├źn: PFASsoil remediation

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