John Merrill is an environmental engineer with consulting and academic experience relating to emerging contaminants, including PFAS, 1,4-dioxane, and 1,2,3-tricholorpropane (TCP). He focuses on environmental site assessment and remediation, litigation support, and applied research projects in collaboration with university partners.
Lines of Evidence to Assess the Effectiveness of PFAS Remedial Technologies
The Department of Defense (DoD) needs treatment technologies to address per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in soil and groundwater. The remediation, drinking water, and waste management industries all recognize the importance and extent of investments needed to improve PFAS treatment options. Proponents of several innovative treatment technologies have claimed success in removing or destroying PFASs. However, removal mechanisms are often not understood, byproducts are often not measured, and the effect of the technology on other components in aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) mixtures is unknown. To improve return on investment and guide future investments in PFAS treatment technologies, this project is developing lines of evidence to assess the effectiveness of PFAS treatment technologies. The project will result in practical checklists and decision tools to inform the evaluation of PFAS treatment. Draft lines of evidence were developed by the project team for evaluating technology success at different stages of research and development (bench-scale, pilot-scale, and full-scale). A workshop was conducted to gather input from academic researchers and practitioners. Workshop participants indicated details on each of the top five prioritized lines of evidence would be most useful. The top five lines of evidence include the following: (1) decrease in target PFAS concentrations, (2) treatment kinetics and plausible mechanism identified, (3) treatment intermediates and transformation products identified and quantified, (4) study design employs best practices, and (5) factors that affect treatment efficacy have been evaluated. This presentation will elaborate on each of the top five lines of evidence and provide additional tools and resources to assess PFAS remedial technologies at each stage of technology development.