CRC CARE brings together industry, government, science and engineering to prevent, assess and clean up environmental contamination

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matCARETM: cleaning up AFFF-contaminated soil and wastewater

matCARE is a proven on-site solution that removes aqueous film-forming foams (AFFFs) from contaminated soil and wastewater.

CRC CARE has developed a modified clay sorbent capable of cleaning up toxic per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), such as PFOS and PFOA, found in some firefighting foams (AFFFs) as well as others on the Stockholm Convention list. As part of the complete on-site assessment and remediation service known as matCARE, this sorbent immobilises contaminants within wastewater and soil and helps restore the commercial value of contaminated sites. 

The matCARE difference

  • Developed upon request of the Department of Defence by CRC CARE in consultation with Industry and Regulators
  • A fast acting, on-site remediation solution
  • Full, end-to-end service offered by CRC CARE with matCARE including testing beforehand, remediating contamination on-site and post remediation testing
  • A cost effective solution that is 90% cheaper than landfill, eliminating the need for transport and excavation costs
  • Four airport facilities successfully remediated across Australia to date
  • matCARE does a far better job than granular activated carbon and other technologies currently available, with a much smaller amount required.

Soil and water – made safe for re-use

The approach taken for the remediation of contaminated soil is different to that of water. Each site is assessed and a site-specific remediation plan implemented for optimal results. Water is returned safe for re-use and soil is restored into productive real estate. 

matCARE for PFAS-contaminated concrete

matCARE is now available to treat PFAS-contaminated concrete using a nano-powder matCARE slurry, eliminating the need for expensive demolition and disposal of contaminated concrete. The application of matCARE slurry to PFOS-contaminated concrete reduced leaching by 99.97% over a 5-day monitoring period, with 99.61% of PFOS remaining locked up after almost 1 year of long-term monitoring.. matCARE can effectively immobilise PFOS in concrete blocks and prevent it from leaching into the environment. Download the matCARE concrete fact sheet

PFAS and Australia's water authorities

Australia’s water agencies need a national response to the PFAS problem. They seek better guidelines, better communication, better measurements, and better remediation (clean up) approaches. The matCARE suite of solutions can help provide this. Download the fact sheet: on PFAS and Australia's water authorities.

healthy soil

matCARE™ for soil

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clean water

matCARE™ for wastewater

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PFAS – the toxic players in AFFFs

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are commonly used to improve the ability of fire-fighting foam to smother fire. These AFFFs have been used at hundreds of thousands of fire training facilities (e.g. airports, air force bases and other military sites) worldwide over the past century, as well as in the production of fabrics, leather, paper products, nonstick cookware, food packaging and insecticides.

However, PFAS pose a serious problem. They are potentially harmful to human health and the environment. When washed away from surfaces and disposed of in landfill, PFOA and PFOS (PFAS found in some firefighting foams) contaminate soil and water. PFAS are stable chemicals that do not change or break down readily in the environment or in living things. The solution is remediation, and matCARE offers a full assessment and remediation service that takes places entirely at the contaminated site.

matCARE on-site assessment and remediation service

CRC CARE scientists arrive with a mobile assessment and remediation facility and take care of contamination issues right there and then.

The clay sorbent used in matCARE has the capacity to successfully immobilise 50% more PFOS and PFOA than traditional technologies, with field trials proving that it is more effective than activated carbon and biochar.

matCARE in action at Defence sites across Australia

matCARE has been used to successfully remediate four AFFF-contaminated sites for the Department of Defence.  Read the CRC CARE case study here.

“CRC CARE fulfilled a critical need by developing best practice solutions to Defence’s AFFF management issues. Their cost-effective and comprehensive risk-based approach – from assessment through to remediation, using their industry-leading matCARE technology – helped Defence ensure a healthy and safe environment at sites where AFFF had previously posed a challenge.”
- Terry Weston, Former Assistant Secretary Environment and Engineering, Department of Defence

Get in touch

For more information and to discuss how CRC CARE can help you assess and remediate AFFF-contaminated soil and wastewater, contact Professor Ravi Naidu at or on +61 2 4913 8705.