Applications & Markets

Emergence of PFAS as a water quality challenge

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a broad class of chemically inert, non-wetting, non-stick and highly fire-resistant chemicals. PFAS have been widely used since the 1950s to make products across different industries, including

  • Firefighting foams

  • Stain resistant fabrics

  • Outdoor apparel/equipment

  • Aerospace/Defense

  • Chemical/pharmaceutical manufacturing

Toxicity studies of PFAS in humans has suggested these chemicals cause significant health impacts, such as increased risk of certain types of cancer and thyroid disease. These properties, coupled with widespread exposure to humans, has led to a review of stringent discharge and drinking water standards.

 

In particular, the US Environmental Protection Agency has set health advisory limits for PFOS and PFOA at 70 ppt and various EU member states have begun enforcing drinking water standards for various PFAS compounds around 90 – 500 ppt.

 

Discharge of these chemicals into the environment and their migration via soil and water has caused a global pollution challenge, leading to a dire need for a solution.

PFAS treatment markets

The market for treatment of PFAS is driven primarily by regulation and cuts across a wide range of sectors and geographies. In addition to regulatory drivers (relevant to both industrial and municipal sectors), brand protection in manufacturing sectors producing goods for human consumption (e.g. Food & Beverage, Pharma) would comprise an important factor for considering adoption of new technologies for removal of PFAS.

Point of use systems

POU systems can serve as a frontline barrier to PFAS. CGM can be easily integrated into small filtration units that comprise most POU systems. In addition, our unique material design and production methods allows also functionalisation of various substrates, hence our technology can be applied in diverse forms to meet a wide range of POU system demands.

Groundwater remediation

PFAS infiltration into groundwater requires a dedicated approach to enable effective remediation of polluted groundwater sites. CGM can be implemented in an easy design, utilising existing assets if required. The material is designed to target PFAS, hence has fast adsorption kinetics, leading to shorter Empty Bed Contact Times (EBCT), lower footprint and lower CAPEX. The ability to regenerate the media for multiple uses translates to lower OPEX, whilst the flexibility of the solution enables application in diverse sites and scenarios.

Airport/military base run-off water

The use of Aqueous Forming Foams (AFFF) as an advanced fire-retardant technology has exposed many airports and military bases to environmental challenges pertaining to PFAS contamination in groundwater and run-off water that require a solution. CGM can be tailored to removing different classes of PFAS at different concentrations, hence depending on the circumstances, an easy deployable and effective treatment solution can be designed for meeting environmental discharge permits.

Industrial manufacturing

Many manufacturing facilities are required to treat their wastewater to meet stringent regulations prior to discharge into the environment or the municipal sewage system. CGM can be designed as a polishing step in an industrial wastewater treatment process, whilst also considering high concentrations of PFAS, typically present in this application, that require removal. The high adsorption capacity of CGM enables continuous operations, whilst regeneration reduces OPEX substantially.

Oil and gas

PFAS contaminated run-off water from fire training in the Oil and Gas sector poses a significant challenge, particularly in offshore operations. The application design can allow for small containerised systems to be deployed, and coupled with a regenerable solution, are suited to treat effectively low flow treatment scenarios.

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