A process to remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from contaminated water has won the 2017 CARE award, which recognises sustainable technologies and innovations in the area of contamination assessment and remediation of the environment.
Mr Pearce Anderson, from InSite, accepted the award for his company’s technology, InTreat™ Water, at the CleanUp 2017 conference in Melbourne.
‘InTreat™ Water is a process that removes all known PFAS compounds, at very high or very low concentrations, from contaminated water,’ said Mr Anderson. ‘The resulting discharge water has non-detect levels of PFAS.’
‘The process removes PFAS even in the presence of other contaminants such as colloidal suspended solids, petroleum hydrocarbons, and heavy metals,’ he said. ‘The process can be stopped and restarted at any time, without impacting PFAS treatment effectiveness.’
PFAS have a number of potential health and environmental impacts. They have been used since the mid-20th century in many products and industrial processes, such as foams for firefighting, some fabric and cooking applications, and in aviation hydraulic fluid.
Mr Anderson said there are more than 6,000 PFAS compounds known or likely, with some having the potential to gradually build up over time in living aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Certain PFAS are being phased out around the world because they are not naturally broken down and may pose a risk to human health and the environment.
InSite was one of three finalists: Opterra was short-listed for the 2017 CARE award for their attachment that allows drones to be used to sample the environment; and CRS Water was short-listed for their chemical process for treating coal seam gas brine.
CRC CARE, which does scientific research to help prevent, manage or clean up contamination of our soil, water and air, last week hosted CleanUp 2017 – the 7th International Contaminated Site Remediation Conference – in Melbourne.