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Polymer Supported Carbon for Safe and Effective Remediation of PFOA- and PFOS-Contaminated Water

  • Nicholas A. Lundquist
    Nicholas A. Lundquist
    Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology, College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, Sturt Road, Bedford Park, South Australia 5042, Australia
  • Martin J. Sweetman
    Martin J. Sweetman
    Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory, Cancer Research Institute, University of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia
    School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia
    Future Industries Institute, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes Boulevard, Mawson Lakes, South Australia 5095, Australia
  • Kymberley R. Scroggie
    Kymberley R. Scroggie
    Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology, College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, Sturt Road, Bedford Park, South Australia 5042, Australia
  • Max J. H. Worthington
    Max J. H. Worthington
    Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology, College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, Sturt Road, Bedford Park, South Australia 5042, Australia
  • Louisa J. Esdaile
    Louisa J. Esdaile
    Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology, College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, Sturt Road, Bedford Park, South Australia 5042, Australia
  • Salah F. K. Alboaiji
    Salah F. K. Alboaiji
    Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology, College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, Sturt Road, Bedford Park, South Australia 5042, Australia
    Department of Chemical Engineering and Process Technology, Jubail Industrial College, 6 Al Huwaylate, Al Khalij, Jubail Industrial City 35718, Saudi Arabia
  • Sally E. Plush*
    Sally E. Plush
    School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia
    Future Industries Institute, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes Boulevard, Mawson Lakes, South Australia 5095, Australia
    *S. Plush. E-mail: [email protected]
  • John D. Hayball*
    John D. Hayball
    Experimental Therapeutics Laboratory, Cancer Research Institute, University of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia
    School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia
    Robinson Research Institute and Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide, 55 King William Road, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
    *J. D. Hayball. E-mail: [email protected]
  • , and 
  • Justin M. Chalker*
    Justin M. Chalker
    Institute for NanoScale Science and Technology, College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, Sturt Road, Bedford Park, South Australia 5042, Australia
    *J. M. Chalker. E-mail: [email protected]
Cite this: ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2019, 7, 13, 11044–11049
Publication Date (Web):June 3, 2019
https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b01793
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    Powdered activated carbon (PAC) is an economical sorbent for removing micropollutants from water, but it generates hazardous dust that is flammable and a respiration hazard. Additionally, the fine particles of PAC can cake and block filters and membranes, complicating its use in continuous processes. In this study, we present a sulfur polymer support for PAC that overcomes these problems. The blend of the sulfur polymer and PAC generates low dust and it does not block filters. The utility of the sorbent is demonstrated in the remediation of water contaminated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), persistent micropollutants that currently threaten water safety worldwide. Fundamental discoveries of PFOA self-assembly are also reported, as well as testing on a field sample of contaminated surface water.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acssuschemeng.9b01793.

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