Some chemicals used in manufacturing, packaging and other industries that end up in everyday products, called Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are very resistant to degradation, making them ‘forever’. Got the nickname ‘chemical’ for this. Many water treatment plants are not yet capable of removing these chemicals.
Research has indicated that PFAS can bioaccumulate in humans and wildlife and there are potential links that PFAS contribute to fertility, testicular and kidney cancer and developmental effects on unborn children, said Trujillo, a member of the project. He and his group worked on the design of a water treatment process that could remove these substances from the water.
Using a treatment method called ion exchange, the team created a design that would use a special resin to remove chemicals from the water. With the proposed design, the treatment process would be able to reduce the concentration of the absorbed chemical 83 parts per trillion (ppt) PFAS range from 10ppt to non-detectable levels For the particular water parameters assumed. The group was composed of Trujillo, Ricardo Martínez, Yissel Marcos Navarro, Patricia Hernandez, Kenny Rivera, Melanie Dorta, Verónica Alemán and Rashed Allezzi.
The Environmental Protection Agency is working on regulations surrounding these chemicals.
Trujillo said, “In the real world, only a few places do this. So it was pretty intimidating at first. But after getting a lot of guidance from professors, plant operators and vendors, and reading industry literature, we were able to Were.”