Dr. Suresh Pillai Receives Grant

Dr. Suresh Pillai has received a grant for a proposal entitled “Ex-Situ Remediation of Investigation-Derived Wastes Containing PFAS by Electron Beam Technology”

Summary:   The aquifers underlying many air force bases around the United States are contaminated with per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS).  PFAS are present in the fire-fighting foams used for training purposes on many of these air force bases for over three decades. The PFAS contaminants are mobile, resistant to degradation and can not only contaminate the groundwater but also, are capable of entering the food chain.  In situ treatment technologies to remediate such PFAS-contaminated groundwater are limited. Site investigations of these PFAS-impacted areas generate complex mixtures of investigation-derived waste (IDW), which include many individual forms of PFASs, as well as other co-contaminants such as total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Few destructive treatment technologies are available to treat the PFASs in these IDW, and most require ultimate destruction to occur in an offsite facility.  The underlying hypothesis is that electron beam (eBeam) with its extremely powerful ability as an advanced oxidation-reduction process can be an innovative and effective technology for remediating the IDW and PFASs and other co-contaminants in soil and groundwater IDW in an onsite unit. This project involves TAMU’s National Center for Electron Beam Research , TAMU’s Geochemical and Environmental Research Group , TAMU’s Mechanical Engineering Department, ARCADIS, US, Inc., Mevex Corp.,  and IBA Industrial.

Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) containing firre fighting foams have been used at many Department of Defense installations around the country. The chemicals have contaminated the groundwater and Aqueous film forming foams (AFFFs) have been used at many DoD installations for firefighting training and emergency response.The proposed research is focused on investigating the utility of high energy electron beam (eBeam) technology as an innovative approach for on-site treatment of investigation-derived waste (IDW) containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Where AFFF was used in emergency exercises, unlined fire training areas, and accidental releases, the poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) used as active ingredients in AFFF impacted underlying soil and groundwater.1,2 Site investigations of these PFAS-impacted areas generate complex mixtures of investigation derived waste (IDW), which include many individual forms of PFASs, as well as other co-contaminants such as total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Few destructive treatment technologies are currently validated to treat PFASs, and most require ultimate destruction to occur in an offsite facility. Herein, we propose to validate an innovative and promising technology known as electron beam (eBeam) that can ex situ remediate PFASs and other co-contaminants in soil and groundwater IDW in an onsite unit.

Congratulations Dr. Pillai!

Comments are closed.