EPA offers $50K for new ways to destroy PFAS in firefighting foam

Cape Fear River (Photo: WWAY)

NORTH CAROLINA (WWAY) — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday announced an initiative that targets new ways to safely destroy per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) such as GenX.

The innovative was unveiled by EPA Administrator Andrew Weller during a PFAS roundtable in Fayetteville.

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According to a news release, the Innovative Ways to Destroy PFAS Challenge is a partnership between federal and states agencies seeking detailed plans for a non-thermal technologies to destroy PFAS in concentrated aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), a type of firefighting foam.

“EPA researchers and staff are harnessing the power of crowdsourcing to identify ways to destroy PFAS through non-incineration methods,” Wheeler said. “The Trump Administration has offered major assistance to more than 30 states across the U.S. to protect human health regarding PFAS, and the agency is offering up to $50,000 for the best design concept to safely destroy the chemical.”

The goal of this challenge is to discover new non-thermal technologies and approaches that can remove at least 99 percent of PFAS in unused AFFF, without creating any harmful byproducts.

Experts say PFAS don’t naturally breakdown due to their strong molecular bonds.

EPA is offering up to $50K for the best design concept(s), with the added potential opportunity for field testing of the winning design concept(s) in partnership with EPA and Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP).

View challenge details here.

The challenge is opens until November 23. Winners are expected to be announced in early 2021.