- Firefighting Foam Contaminants Powder

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Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) are man-made chemicals that are extremely persistent in the environment. In 2009, PFOS was listed as a chemical of concern by the Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants. These chemicals are common in Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) used for firefighting and their manufacture has been restricted or banned in several countries.

Project Highlights

  • Study demonstrated that RemBind™ is an effective amendment to treat firefighting foam contaminants.
  • Study demonstrated that RemBind™ Plus reduced PFOS leachability by >99.2% to below the Minnesota drinking water guidelines of 0.3µg/L.

Solution

Bench-scale testing was performed on behalf of an airport authority to validate the effectiveness of RemBind™ and RemBind™ Plus to treat Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) contaminants in soil which include PFOS.  The laboratory treatability study was independently supervised and audited by the environmental consulting company SEMF.  This included sealing sample containers, doorways and fume cupboards at the end of each day to maintain integrity of the process.

Notable Results

Treatability testing results indicate that PFOS was reduced by more than 98.5% for soil from both sites. PFOA reductions followed a similar trend. For both soils, RemBind™ Plus reduced PFOS leachability to below the stringent Minnesota Department of Health drinking water guidelines of 0.3µg/L.

MEP results show that Soil 1 treated with 5% RemBind™ Plus passed the stringent MEP test which simulates 1,000 years of acid rain in an improperly designed sanitary landfill.  A summary of the results are presented in Tables 1 to 3 below.

Methodology

PFOS contaminated soil was collected from two different commercial airport sites in Australia and sent to Ziltek’s laboratories in South Australia for processing (designated Soil 1 and 2). 

Soils were air-dried, thoroughly mixed and screened in preparation for the treatment with RemBind™, exclusively distributed in North America by Tersus Environmental.  RemBind™ or RemBind™ Plus was added to the soils at various rates and, after moisture adjustment, treatments were left to cure for 48 hours.

Treated samples (and untreated controls) were sent to a commercial NATA-accredited laboratory for leachability testing using ASLP (Australian Standard Leaching Procedure (ASLP), based on US EPA Method 1311). Selected samples were subjected to the more rigorous Multiple Extraction Procedure (MEP; US EPA Method 1320) to test for longevity of binding.

Conclusion

Soils amended with RemBind™ Plus reduced PFOS leachability by >99.2% to below the Minnesota drinking water guidelines of 0.3µg/L and that this binding was stable longterm as determined by the most stringent soil leachability test available (US EPA Method 1320).

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