Remediation of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contaminated soils – To mobilize or to immobilize or to degrade?

Bolan, N. and Sarkar, B. and Yan, Y. and Li, Q. and Wijesekara, H. and Kannan, K. and Tsang, D.C.W. and Schauerte, M. and Bosch, J. and Noll, H. and Ok, Y.S. and Scheckel, K. and Kumpiene, J. and Gobindlal, K. and Kah, M. and Sperry, J. and Kirkham, M.B. and Wang, H. and Tsang, Y.F. and Hou, D. and Rinklebe, J. (2021) Remediation of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contaminated soils – To mobilize or to immobilize or to degrade? Journal of Hazardous Materials, 401. ISSN 0304-3894

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Poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are synthetic chemicals, which are introduced to the environment through anthropogenic activities. Aqueous film forming foam used in firefighting, wastewater effluent, landfill leachate, and biosolids are major sources of PFAS input to soil and groundwater. Remediation of PFAS contaminated solid and aqueous media is challenging, which is attributed to the chemical and thermal stability of PFAS and the complexity of PFAS mixtures. In this review, remediation of PFAS contaminated soils through manipulation of their bioavailability and destruction is presented. While the mobilizing amendments (e.g., surfactants) enhance the mobility and bioavailability of PFAS, the immobilizing amendments (e.g., activated carbon) decrease their bioavailability and mobility. Mobilizing amendments can be applied to facilitate the removal of PFAS though soil washing, phytoremediation, and complete destruction through thermal and chemical redox reactions. Immobilizing amendments are likely to reduce the transfer of PFAS to food chain through plant and biota (e.g., earthworm) uptake, and leaching to potable water sources. Future studies should focus on quantifying the potential leaching of the mobilized PFAS in the absence of removal by plant and biota uptake or soil washing, and regular monitoring of the long-term stability of the immobilized PFAS. © 2020 Elsevier B.V.

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Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Hazardous Materials
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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Hazardous Materials. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Hazardous Materials, 401, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.123892
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12 Oct 2020 15:05
Last Modified:
07 Oct 2023 00:17