PFAS WATER TREATMENT

Groundwater Surface Water Recovered Firefighting Water 

Landfill Leachate Wastewater Soil Washings

The composition and concentration of PFAS compounds in contaminated water varies significantly depending on the source of the contamination and the water body.  Furthermore, background chemistry (suspended solids, pH, inorganics etc) and other potentially high organic contaminant loading can have a similarly significant impact on the efficacy, cost effectiveness and sustainability of the established treatment technologies. 

The adsorption efficiencies of the traditional treatment technologies, principally activated carbon and ion exchange, are poor in even the most optimum conditions but, like all adsorption technologies, are impacted by preferential adsorption, not just of other organics but by longer chain PFAS compounds.  This inherently leads to displacement of the less readily adsorbed shorter chain PFAS compounds leading to early breakthrough.  Waste volumes can be high with correspondingly high disposal costs and poor sustainability.

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The solution is to remove the PFAS compounds by separation.  Together with our partners Cornelsen Umwelttechnologie GmbH and Envytech Solutions AB, Cornelsen Ltd offers two full scale, proven technologies that do just that:

  • PerfluorAd® - Flocculation, precipitation, concentration & removal

  • Surface Activation Foam Fractionation (SAFF®) - Foam fractionation, concentration & removal

Both technologies can reduce waste to a fraction of that inherent with adsorption technologies with associated cost and sustainability benefits.

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Clearly, subject to all the variables, including of course the treatment objective, the most appropriate PFAS treatment solution needs to be thoroughly evaluated and, where appropriate, trialled.  Indeed, the appropriate solution may include the traditional technologies of activated carbon and ion exchange, which of course we still offer.   

 

Our objective is to provide you with the most cost effective PFAS treatment solution.  By offering the widest range of PFAS treatment solutions including the only two field proven full scale PFAS separation technologies, we believe we are best placed to deliver your PFAS solution.

Please call us to discuss the efficacy of each of these technologies for your site.

 

PFAS SEPARATION TREATMENT SOLUTIONS

Flocculation > Precipitation > Concentration > Removal

Cornelsen's PerfluorAd® is a precipitation process. PFAS microflocs are generated by dosing a biodegradable agent followed by filtration of the PFAS solids precipitate for disposal or destruction.

 

Dosage can be infinitely adjusted to suit the concentration and type of PFAS compounds present.

Removal efficiencies in excess of 99% can be achieved for longer chain PFAS compounds and up to 60% of shorter chain compounds (according to the ITRC naming convention)

The PerfluorAd® treatment performance is unaffected by pH variations, high total suspended solids (TSS), organics, etc. and as such has a wide range of applications, especially those with high concentrations of PFAS and complex chemistries. This is especially so in the case of residual oils and part burned fuels which may be present in recovered firefighting water.   

 

Project experience has shown PFAS concentrations from several hundred to more than 40,000 ppb in recovered firefighting fluids.  We have found telomere 6:2 FTS at concentrations well in excess of PFOS plus significant cationic & anionic surfactant concentrations and fluoro-organic compounds.

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  • Proven at full scale in multiple applications

  • A physical separation process

  • Ideally suited to high PFAS concentrations and complex groundwater chemistries

  • Removal efficiencies of long chain PFAS > 99% & up to 60% of shorter chain compounds 

  • Minimises waste

  • Cost effective & environmentally sustainable 

  • Can integrate with existing treatment trains

  • Infinitely adjustable dosing rate

  • Modular & containerised for rapid on-site mobilisation & commissioning

Subject to the treatment target and the PFAS & background water chemistries PerfluorAd® can be used independently (with only a very minimum waste comprising of the PFAS sludge) or it can be simply integrated into existing treatment trains where the life of activated carbon/resin in a polishing step is extended significantly, thus minimising waste and disposal costs and improving environmental sustainability.

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SAFF®
Surface Active Foam Fractionation > Concentration > Removal

SAFF® is a multi-stage treatment system that uses aeration to rapidly remove PFAS compounds. As with PerfluorAd® it is a physical separation process. 

 

The SAFF® process is a portable, containerised, continuous water treatment system which utilises the natural physicochemistry of PFAS compounds to adhere to fine air bubbles rising through a narrow water column. As the bubbles rise they are exceptionally effective in collecting PFAS compounds which are loosely bound to the water molecules.

The PFAS compounds accumulate at the top of the column as a rich foam which the SAFF® system detects and automatically vacuums off and separates. As the water flows through hundreds of interconnected SAFF® columns within the system, any PFAS is progressively stripped out and the water is very effectively polished down to drinking water standards.

 

Removal efficiencies in excess of 99% can be achieved for longer chain PFAS compounds and up to 55% of shorter chain compounds (according to the ITRC naming convention)

The relatively low volume of PFAS concentrate which the system produces is split off from the clean water and directed to a low-pressure evaporation process which further distills and reduces the waste stream to create a PFAS hyper-concentrate.

 

For every megalitre of water treated the SAFF® system produces only a few litres of hyper-concentrate thereby dramatically reducing overall disposal costs

  • Skid Mounted Systems for industrial / trade effluent integration

  • Containerised Plant for easily mobilisation and shorter term projects (SAFF® 20 & SAFF® 40)

  • Municipal / Large Permanent Systems for long term larger projects such as municipal drinking water, airports etc.

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SAFF®
  • Proven at full scale in multiple applications

  • A physical separation process

  • Ideally suited to high flow & lower PFAS concentrations and complex groundwater chemistries

  • Removal efficiencies of long chain PFAS > 99% and up to 55% of the shorter chain compounds

  • Minimises waste

  • Cost effective & environmentally sustainable 

  • Can integrate with existing treatment trains

  • Infinitely adjustable foam fractionation

  • Modular & containerised for rapid on-site mobilisation & commissioning

PFAS ADSORPTION TREATMENT SOLUTIONS

Activated Carbon and Ion Exchange

Whether for low volumes with low concentrations, a polishing step after PerfluorAd® or SAFF® or simply because of Client/End Client specification, Cornelsen can offer both granular activated carbon (GAC) adsorption and ion exchange vessels along with pumps and ancillary equipment to install, commission and operate the system.

 

We have employed GAC/resin vessels for many years and can deploy vessels on hire from stock or deliver new as may be required.

 

We know from experience that the optimum GAC or resin material may vary considerably from one site to another subject not just to the PFAS compounds present but also the background chemistry.

 

For this reason we have available for trial a multi-column treatability mobile plant to compare the performance of different GAC or resin. 

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AquaGate+RemBind® for Surface and Groundwater Remediation 

AquaGate+RemBind® is a composite particle consisting of an aggregate core coated with RemBind® powder which offers the ability to utilise RemBind® adsorptive materials in a Permeable Reactive Barrier (PRB) configuration to prevent migration of a PFAS groundwater plume.

This unique design facilitates the accurate placement of RemBind® for the passive remediation of PFAS in water using permeable reactive barriers (PRBs). The PRBs can be installed in-situ for groundwater remediation or above ground in surface water drains.

Stockpiles of PFAS contaminated soil often require a liner to be installed to manage leachate runoff. For temporary stockpiles, a layer of AquaGate+RemBind® can be used as a liner as a practical, simple method for leachate containment. When the stockpile is moved, the product can be sacrificed with the soil.

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  • Groundwater

  • Sediment Remediation

  • Surface Water

  • Emergency Response

FEASBLITY TRIALS

PerfluorAd Treatability Bench Test
PerfluorAd®  - BENCH SCALE TESTING

We recommend and can undertake bench trials to test the efficacy of PerfluorAd® treatment and the required dosing rate for field applications. A 5 litre sample of the PFAS impacted site water is required to conduct these tests.

 

Pre and post treatment analyses are undertaken by a third-party accredited lab.  A useful low-cost evaluation assessment prior to field scale activities.

 

Field scale pilot testing will further improve the specification and optimisation of the PerfluorAd® treatment process.  Cornelsen can mobilise pilot scale PerfluorAd® plant for field scale trials.

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SAFF® - BENCH SCALE TESTING

Our team can conduct accurate benchtop testing to prove the predictability model. A 100 litre sample of the PFAS impacted site water is required to conduct these tests. We will use this to conduct both primary and secondary fractionation experiments to test and demonstrate SAFF® performance.

Pre and post treatment analyses have consistently demonstrated that the results of the bench scale tests show a very high level of correlation with full scale field results and provide our clients with confidence and surety that their investment in a full scale SAFF® system will yield accurate, predictable results.

Evaluation & Optimisation