PFAS and Other Emerging Contaminants – The Science and Beyond

E2metrix attended the 2019 RPIC Federal Contaminated Sites Workshop in Halifax, Canada held June 4 and 5, 2019. RPIC is well known for it’s Federal Contaminated Sites (FCS) Workshops, leading professional development events for federal and industry environmental professionals involved in the management and remediation of federal contaminated sites. These Workshops offer a unique opportunity for the public, private, and academic sectors to meet and exchange new ideas and information with colleagues and industry representatives from across the country and abroad.

This year the workshop provided a forum for the contaminated sites community to learn about technical, scientific and organizational innovations, and best practices for the management of sites contaminated with per and polyfluoro alkylated substances (PFAS) and other emerging contaminants (GenX and ADONA). Under the theme, PFAS and Other Emerging Contaminants – The Science and Beyond, the presentation streams included:

  • Environmental Site Assessment
  • Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment
  • Remediation and Risk Management
  • Regulatory Framework/Guidelines
  • Project Management and Challenges Specific to Emerging Contaminants

Two main themes of importance emerged from the workshop:

Firstly, very few countries have any firm legislation on PFAS limits. Canada became the second country to set firm limits for PFAS. The limits for Canada are 0.2 ppb and 0.6 ppb for PFOA and PFOS, respectively. However, many countries and jurisdictions are actively working to define these limits within the next few years.

Secondly, the technology available to manage contaminated sites with PFAS substances relies on technologies which were developed long ago and are not specifically developed for PFAS remediation. New technologies are needed to handle PFAS and new emerging micropollutants. One such technology is electrochemical advanced processes (EAOPs).

Combined, these two themes point toward an urgent need for an innovative, fast, effective and low-cost alternative for PFAS remediation.

E2metrix is the world leader in electrochemical remediation technology. Its’ patented modular reactors and high-efficiency anodes allow for high treatment throughput at low cost. E2metrix technology effectively degrades 99%+ of the micropollutants in water.

Unlike other electrochemical technologies, E2Metrix technology has the following advantages:

  1. High “on-line” through-put – Contaminated volumes as high as 4000 m3/day are attainable with the unique E2metrix reactor and anode designs. Other technologies can only treat very low volumes or use an “off-line” process which incorporates ion exchanges resins to first separate the contaminant and then treat the by contaminant containing product from the resin regeneration solution. This adds cost and complexity to the treatment train.
  2. Low CAPEX: E2metrix reactors are patented, modular low-cost systems. Different types or reactors can be installed in sequence to treat the contaminants in phases. The reactors are designed to be modular, plug and play systems which make up-scaling or down-scaling easy. Other technologies are not modular and sequential treatment is not possible. Furthermore, they are not scalable or plug and play.
  3. Low OPEX: E2metrix technology uses patented anode technology which is low cost. The unique reactor design, as well as anode geometry, allows for very low power consumption – less than 5 kWh/m3. Other technologies have high power consumption and the anodes tend to consume large amounts of power, at time up to 200-300 times more based on ppb of contaminant removed per liter of contaminated water.
  4. Modular Technology: E2metrix technology can be set-up in any combination of electro-oxidation or electro-coagulation sequence. Furthermore, each reactor can be fitted with different anode technology. As the system is plug and play, sequences can be changed or upgraded quickly. No other technology possesses this flexibility.
  5. Patented Anode Technology: E2metrix anodes are patented alloys specifically designed by physicists to achieve even consumption (for electro-coagulation) or stable power usage density (for electro-oxidation). Other technologies are limited to non-patented iron, aluminum or inert anodes which have been shown to be ineffective at degrading PFAS and persistent organic contaminants.
  6. Full Advanced Water Treatment and Digitalization: the E2metrix system is designed to operate off a digital platform allowing full modular monitoring and control of the system from anywhere and anytime. This is a unique feature to E2metrix technology. As an add-on, non E2metrix probes and sensors can be incorporated into the platform at no cost. Reports are generated in demand.