PFAS and their substitutes in groundwater: Occurrence, transformation and remediation

By Xu, Bentuo, Shuai Liu, John L. Zhou, Chunmiao Zheng, Jin Weifeng, Bei Chen, Ting Zhang, and Wenhui Qiu
J Hazard Mater
May 11, 2021
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.125159

Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are increasingly investigated due to their global occurrence and potential human health risk. The ban on PFOA and PFOS has led to the use of novel substitutes such as GenX, F-53B and OBS. This paper reviews the studies on the occurrence, transformation and remediation of major PFAS i.e. PFOA, PFNA, PFBA, PFOS, PFHxS, PFBS and the three substitutes in groundwater. The data indicated that PFOA, PFBA, PFOS and PFBS were present at high concentrations up to 21,200 ng L-1 while GenX and F-53B were found up to 30,000 ng L-1 and 0.18-0.59 ng L-1, respectively. PFAS in groundwater are from direct sources e.g. surface water and soil. PFAS remediation methods based on membrane, redox, sorption, electrochemical and photocatalysis are analyzed. Overall, photocatalysis is considered to be an ideal technology with low cost and high degradation efficacy for PFAS removal. Photocatalysis could be combined with electrochemical or membrane filtration to become more advantageous. GenX, F-53B and OBS in groundwater treatment by UV/sulfite system and electrochemical oxidation proved effective. The review identified gaps such as the immobilization and recycling of materials in groundwater treatment, and recommended visible light photocatalysis for future studies.


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