Managing PFAS in Site Closure Remediation

Managing PFAS in Site Closure Remediation

What are PFAS?

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of synthetic chemicals widely used for their resistance to heat, water and oil. PFAS has been found to cause significant environmental and health concerns, and have been found in air, water, soil and foods. PFAS is found in a lot of sources, and every country has its own regulations to curb the impact of these hazardous compounds.

Successfully managing PFAS contamination demands meticulous planning, specialised expertise and strict adherence to environmental protocols to protect affected communities.


Liberty Industrial’s Approach to PFAS Remediation

At Liberty Industrial, we specialise in environmental remediation by employing cutting-edge techniques informed by scientific research and technological advances to manage PFAS-contaminated material such as concrete, soil and water.

Our comprehensive approach includes the application of advanced treatment methods including mobile washing technology, in-situ stabilisation, absorption onto media such as activated carbon and ion exchange resin, and advanced oxidation processes. By creating site-specific solutions to address each client’s specific needs and concerns, we ensure the effective removal of critical PFAS mass while promoting long-term site recovery and compliance with stringent environmental standards.

Using the latest technology to target the reduction of PFAS mass to or below regulatory standards, Liberty Industrial provides clients with the ability to reduce risks to sensitive ecological and human receptors and also contributes to the delivery of long-term, environmentally sustainable options for removing PFAS from the biosphere.

Want to learn more about how PFAS might impact your site’s closure project? Please reach out to our Remediation Manager, Scott Carroll.


PFAS Contaminated Water Treatment

Liberty Industrial’s owned-and-operated, highly customisable water treatment plants are made for dealing with the treatment of contaminated surface water and groundwater. Liberty Industrial has developed multiple high-flow rate Chemically Enhanced Dual Media Water Treatment Plants, capable of treating a variety of contaminants such as PFAS to levels below laboratory reporting limits. 

The Water Treatment Plants utilise well studied and proven PFAS water treatment adsorbent media, such as activated carbon, PFAS-selective modified clays and Ion exchange resins, which are either stocked or manufactured locally, giving certainty in our ability to supply solutions at a scale that suits demand. 

Fully programmable and automated, our technology allows for consistent results for a wide range of treatment – at a reduced cost. Proven to be highly flexible in its application, and adaptable to suit project requirements. 

Staff manually covering the mud with a protective sheet

PFAS Contaminated Soil and Concrete Treatment

Liberty Industrial employs a multifaceted approach to soil remediation, harnessing a suite of innovative technologies to combat PFAS contamination in soil, concrete, sediments and sludge. Tailored to the demands of each project, these techniques encompass:

Soil Washing: Soil washing, whether conducted in situ or ex situ, is a process that employs chemical desorption and separation techniques to extract PFAS contaminants from soil, sediment and sludges. It encourages contaminant release into the liquid phase in the form of wash waters, which are treated utilising water treatment processes to capture and concentrate the PFAS onto appropriate media. 

Thermal Treatment: Thermal treatment (desorption), typically conducted ex situ as specialised licenced facilities, involved subjecting contaminated waste to high temperatures of up to 1000°C to mineralise and eliminate PFAS.

Sortion and Stabilisation: Sorption and stabilisation involves the immobilisation of PFAS, minisiming the risk of further migration without removing the contaminants from the source. The delivery of this method varies and can involve injection or in situ applications to suit specific site geology and treatment goals. 

Engineered Contaminant Cells: Engineered contaminant cells can be an option for specific sites, including remote sites with limited connectivity to groundwater. Typically, these cells are double-lined, engineered cells with leachate capture and treatment technology. Liberty Industrial can construct bespoke cells which are stipulated and approved in remediation plans accordingly.

When determining the best options, an assessment and subsequent selection is made in line with the hierarchy of preference, as set out in the latest HEPA PFAS NEMP guidelines. Permanent destruction or removal of PFAS contaminants is the most preferable option, with disposal to an appropriately licensed facility or in a specially engineered containment cell seen as acceptable, but lower in the hierarchy. 

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