University of Oulu

Zhongfei Ren, Ulrich Bergmann, Jean Noel Uwayezu, Ivan Carabante, Jurate Kumpiene, Tore Lejon, Tiina Leiviskä, Combination of adsorption/desorption and photocatalytic reduction processes for PFOA removal from water by using an aminated biosorbent and a UV/sulfite system, Environmental Research, Volume 228, 2023, 115930, ISSN 0013-9351,

Combination of adsorption/desorption and photocatalytic reduction processes for PFOA removal from water by using an aminated biosorbent and a UV/sulfite system

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Author: Ren, Zhongfei1; Bergmann, Ulrich2; Uwayezu, Jean Noel3;
Organizations: 1Chemical Process Engineering, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4300, FIN-90014, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Biochemistry and Biocenter, University of Oulu, Oulu, FIN-99020, Finland
3Waste Science and Technology, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden
4Department of Chemistry, UiT-The Arctic University of Norway, Norway
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 8.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-04-28


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are stable organic chemicals, which have been used globally since the 1940s and have caused PFAS contamination around the world. This study explores perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) enrichment and destruction by a combined method of sorption/desorption and photocatalytic reduction. A novel biosorbent (PG-PB) was developed from raw pine bark by grafting amine groups and quaternary ammonium groups onto the surface of bark particles. The results of PFOA adsorption at low concentration suggest that PG-PB has excellent removal efficiency (94.8%–99.1%, PG-PB dosage: 0.4 g/L) to PFOA in the concentration range of 10 μg/L to 2 mg/L. The PG-PB exhibited high adsorption efficiency regarding PFOA, being 456.0 mg/g at pH 3.3 and 258.0 mg/g at pH 7 with an initial concentration of 200 mg/L. The groundwater treatment reduced the total concentration of 28 PFAS from 18 000 ng/L to 9900 ng/L with 0.8 g/L of PG-PB. Desorption experiments examined 18 types of desorption solutions, and the results showed that 0.05% NaOH and a mixture of 0.05% NaOH + 20% methanol were efficient for PFOA desorption from the spent PG-PB. More than 70% (>70 mg/L in 50 mL) and 85% (>85 mg/L in 50 mL) of PFOA were recovered from the first and second desorption processes, respectively. Since high pH promotes PFOA degradation, the desorption eluents with NaOH were directly treated with a UV/sulfite system without further adjustment. The final PFOA degradation and defluorination efficiency in the desorption eluents with 0.05% NaOH + 20% methanol reached 100% and 83.1% after 24 h reaction. This study proved that the combination of adsorption/desorption and a UV/sulfite system for PFAS removal is a feasible solution for environmental remediation.

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Series: Environmental research
ISSN: 0013-9351
ISSN-E: 1096-0953
ISSN-L: 0013-9351
Volume: 228
Article number: 115930
DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2023.115930
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
Funding: The research was conducted as part of the Less-PFAS project “Sustainable management of PFAS-contaminated materials (ID: 20202462)”, funded by the European Union program Interreg Nord 2019–2022 and the Regional Council of Lapland, Norrbotten County Council and Troms og Finnmark County Municipality.
Copyright information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (