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Colorado School of Mines Researchers Develop New Process to Eliminate PFAS

Researchers at the Colorado School of Mines have invented, and patented, a new process to eliminate PFAS from water systems entirely.

April 14, 2023

1 Min Read
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Researchers at the Colorado School of Mines have invented, and patented, a new process to eliminate PFAS from water systems entirely.

The EPA has long talked about how forever chemicals, or PFAS, can cause health problems such as birth defects and cancer. And while the EPA is working to put regulations in place for PFAS in drinking water, the new issue is, what happens to the PFAS-concentrated toxic waste that is left behind?

The School of Mines has created to new process to eliminate the PFAS, taking care of the issue of dumping toxic waste in landfills. The process, called Hydrothermal alkaline treatment or HALT, uses extremely hot boiling sand with a chemical reactant to eliminate PFAS without emissions.

"Ultimately that would kind of close the cycle and actually remove PFAS from the environment, and not just transfer it somewhere where it has a chance to escape again in the future," said Timothy Strathmann, a civil and environmental engineering professor at Mines, and co-inventor of HALT.

"We heat the water to these high temperatures, usually 350 degrees Celsius, and then the second thing is that we add a simple chemical called a base, like sodium hydroxide, that historically was used to make soap and is used in a variety of consumer products," Strathmann said. "The way I explain it to people is that it's really a pressure cooker on steroids."

Read the full article here.

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