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by Star Tribune  JANUARY 31, 2023 — 11:26AM

Several companies, including Claros Technologies in Minnesota, are trying to engineer ways to destroy PFAS chemicals.  

The world of PFAS destruction is rife with proprietary methods and nondisclosure agreements, making it hard to assess what actually works. One notable exception is a study published in the journal Science last year that saw researchers boil the chemicals with two other compounds on low heat. But that method still is in lab testing.

Companies like Claros Technologies, a Minnesota-based startup, are mostly mum about who exactly owns the PFAS waste they’re experimenting on, because those partners may have legal liabilities. That makes it hard to validate the company’s stated results: 99.9% to 99.99% destruction of PFAS, when treated with UV light and an additive.

Those Claros tests aren’t being verified in peer-reviewed scientific journals either because the process is proprietary.

John Brockgreitens, the director of research and development for Claros, said the company hopes one day to treat tens of thousands of gallons of liquid daily. But he admitted it’s hard to answer detailed questions about the results of the company’s photochemical method.

“We talk to teams of scientists, and they ask us the same thing,” he said. “Walking that line is a challenge.”

Theriault, who said his firm remains agnostic on what technologies it recommends to its clients, said Arcadis had partnered with Claros and that their method “has definitely shown its promise” to be useful in more applications than other methods.