Laboratory-scale and pilot-scale stabilization and solidification (S/S) remediation of soil contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs)

By Mattias Sörengård, Pablo Gago-Ferrero, Dan B. Kleja, and Lutz Ahrens
J of Haz. Mat.
July 21, 2020
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123453

Remediation of soil contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is critical due to the high persistence and mobility of these compounds. In this study, stabilization and solidification (S/S) treatment was evaluated at pilot-scale using 6 tons of soil contaminated with PFAS-containing aqueous film-forming foam. At pilot-scale, long-term PFAS removal over 6 years of precipitation (simulated using irrigation) in leachate from non-treated contaminated reference soil and S/S-treated soil with 15 % binder and 0.2 % GAC was compared. PFAS removal rate from leachate, corresponding to reduction in leaching potential after 6 years, was >97 % for four dominant PFASs (perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)), but low (3%) for short-chain perfluoropentanoic acid (PFPeA). During the pilot-scale experiment, PFAS sorption strength (i.e., soil-water partitioning coefficient (Kd)) increased 2- to 40-fold for both reference and S/S-treated soil, to much higher levels than in laboratory-scale tests. However, PFAS behavior in pilot-scale and laboratory-scale tests was generally well-correlated (p < 0.001), which will help in future S/S recipe optimization. In addition, seven PFASs were tentatively identified using an automated suspect screening approach. Among these, perfluorohexanesulfonamide and 3:2 fluorotelomer alcohol were tentatively identified and the latter had low removal rates from leachate (<12 %) in S/S treatment.

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