Solving the PFAS Problem

New technologies developed and incubated at the University of Minnesota and now being commercialized by Claros Technologies hold the promise of destroying PFAS, taking the “forever” out of “forever chemicals.” The innovative technologies detect and destroy PFAS in wastewater, leaving only clean, detoxified water and naturally occurring elements. The first step is PFAS testing that uses both compound-specific methods as well as methods that address PFAS as a class, such as AOF and total organic fluorine (TOF). This type of in-depth analysis is necessary to design customized remediation strategies. This is nascent technology, and Claros Technologies is one of only three accredited labs in the United States that can detect short- and ultrashort-chain PFAS.

The second step is the capture and concentration of all short- and long-chain PFAS. New proprietary chemistries and concentration methods developed at Claros are proving more efficient in enhancing the capture and concentration of PFAS. They can be used alone or tailored to fit with existing capture systems such as ion resin and foam fractionation, making wide-scale adoption more feasible. Reducing millions of gallons of wastewater into a few gallons of PFAS concentrate makes destruction more manageable and affordable. The final step is the permanent destruction of PFAS. Defluorination is accomplished with Elemental Destruction, which uses a photochemical process to break the powerful C-F bond and stands alone in being effective in destructing long-chain, short-chain, and ultra-short-chain compounds while operating at the highest energy and cost efficiencies available.

Dr. John Brockgreitens, Claros’ Director of Research and Development, says, “Adopting a closed-loop system for chemical waster is a necessity.  It protects public and environmental health, ensures regulatory compliance, and mitigates legal liabilities for manufacturers and waste disposal companies. ”

Read the full article in Textile Insights, Winter 2023,