Monitoring Produced Gases From PFAS Removal Technologies

Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in the Environment
Poster Presentation

Prepared by H. Calder1, E. Hachmiester2, L. Miles1
1 - Markes International Ltd, 1000BCentral Park, Western Avenue, Bridgend, South Glamorgan, CF31 3RT, United Kingdom
2 - Markes International, Inc, 2355 Gold Meadow Way, Gold River,, Sacramento, California, 95670, United States

Contact Information: [email protected]; + 441443230935


Many per and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) removal technologies seek to breakdown the compounds into small components which can be captured or neutralized. Incineration of PFAS is common in the USA and aims to degrade PFAS species into HF, CO2 and water. However if this process does not happen under the correct conditions products of incomplete destruction (PID) are created. This is also true of other novel techniques which are now being researched and used to try and managed PFAS. Often PIDs are smaller PFAS species and have their own detrimental effect upon the environment. This means that PFAS destruction must be monitored in a meaningful way.

The smallest PID is CF4. An exceedingly volatile freon and potent greenhouse gas. This compound is challenging to monitor to its volatility and the global networks such as GAW and AGAGE which monitor it currently require extremely specialized equipment to do so. In this study we will show that commercially available thermal desorption equipment can be used to monitor CF4 and other priority PFAS from destruction sources.

Thermal desorption coupled to gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (TD-GC-MS) is commonly applied to monitoring of hazardous organic compounds in ambient air. The technique is well suited to monitoring ultra-volatile species, and is the basis for the specialise equipment used in the GAW and AGAGE networks. Commercial instruments cannot sample the same volume but they can still be used for this application because the same background levels are not trying to be reached.

In this study we will share data showing how TD-GC-MS with canister sampling offers a robust approach to performing monitoring of PFAS destruction sites in line with OTM 50. And discuss the challenges related to this difficult matrix.