Customer Type: PFAS wastewater treatment systems
Wastewater: All types
Equipment: Pan America Environmental ZeoMaxx and membrane filtration

Pan America Environmental, Inc. provides PFAS treatment.
PFAS is a class of fluoronated chemicals. There are about 4700 chemicals in this class. About 600 are common. They are all man-made and contain linked chains of carbon and fluorine. These chemicals don’t degrade easily in the environment as the atomic bond is the strongest in nature and are stable in water but are also fully soluble.

Typical chemicals are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). Neither of them are made in the United States any longer, manufacturers started voluntarily phasing them out in the early-2000s — but because they were manufactured here for decades, they remain widespread in the environment and best understood. Manufacturers from other countries still produce PFOS and PFOA, and can ship products made with them into the U.S.
U.S. manufacturers have replaced PFOA and PFOS with other members of the PFAS family. The effects of these next-generation PFAS chemicals are not as well understood.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s. PFOA and PFOS have been the most produced and studied of these chemicals. Both chemicals are very persistent in the environment and in the human body – meaning they don’t break down and they can accumulate over time. There is evidence that exposure to certain PFAS can lead to detrimental human health effects.

PFAS are found in:
• Food packaging with PFAS-containing materials, processed with equipment that uses PFAS, or grown in PFAS-contaminated soil or water.
• Commercial household products, including stain and water-repellent fabrics, nonstick products (e.g., Teflon), polishes, waxes, paints, cleaning products, and AFFF fire fighting foams (a source of groundwater contamination at airports and military bases where firefighting training occurs).
• Workplace, including production facilities or industries (e.g., chrome plating, electronics manufacturing or oil recovery) that use PFAS.
• Drinking water, typically localized and associated with a specific facility (e.g., manufacturer, landfill, wastewater treatment plant, firefighter training facility).
• Living organisms, including fish, animals and humans, where PFAS have the ability to build up and persist over time.

PFAS are also found in a wide range of consumer products that people use daily such as cookware, pizza boxes and stain repellants. According to EPA and other public sources most people have been exposed to PFAS due to the ubiquitous nature of the products and their wide use. Certain PFAS can accumulate and stay in the human body for long periods of time. Per EPA there is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans. The most-studied PFAS chemicals are PFOA and PFOS. Studies indicate that PFOA and PFOS can cause reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney, and immunological effects in laboratory animals. Both chemicals have caused tumors in animals according to EPA references.

What is the difference between PFOA, PFOS and GenX and other replacement PFAS?
Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that have been in use since the 1940s, and are (or have been) found in many consumer products like cookware, food packaging, and stain repellants. PFAS manufacturing and processing facilities, airports, and military installations that use firefighting foams are some of the main sources of PFAS. PFAS may be released into the air, soil, and water, including sources of drinking water. PFOA and PFOS are the most studied PFAS chemicals and have been voluntarily phased out by industry, though they are still persistent in the environment. There are many other PFAS, including GenX chemicals and PFBS in use throughout the US economy.

Treatment Solutions

Technologies:
– ZeoMax AC830, Z200 and other of our medias
– RO Reverse Osmosis
– IX Ion exchange
– AOX Advanced oxidation

Long chain PFAS are more easily removed with AC830 filtration than short chains.

PFOS, PFOA, PFBA, PFHxS, PFHxA & PFNA can be removed via AC830 followed by RO. The RO reject stream can be further concentrated via RO and then AOX used to treat the reject before discharge.

As there have not been widespread treatment testing for all PFAS RO is thought to be the best treatment for all PFAS.

It is believed that 1 ppt should be the human exposure limit, but no regulations on this currently exist. ppt = 10-12

Systems:
– ZeoMaxx AC830 filtration
– ZeoMaxx Z200 filtration
– Reverse Osmosis
– Advanced Oxidation

author avatar
scott spalding