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May 13, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

Speaker: Youn Jeong Choi, PhD, Analytical Chemist, Purdue University
Moderator: Bryan Staley, PhD, PE, President and CEO, Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF)With companies and product manufacturers aiming to increase their “green footprints,” usage of compostable utensils, food packaging and containers continues to increase. When added to soil as an amendment, compostable materials, such as yard waste, food waste and compostable food packaging, can offer a number of benefits including improved soil tilth and decreased need for fertilizers.

However, recent research has suggested that some compostable materials contain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Given the widespread use of PFAS in a variety of consumer products, it is not surprising that these substances have been found in compostable materials and therefore compost. The extent to which PFAS impacts compost is important to understand due to its use as a soil amendment.

Dr. Youn Jeong Choi at Purdue University has published some of the only research on this topic.  During this Science Session, Dr. Choi will discuss:

  • PFAS in compost
  • Why PFAS is being detected
  • What types of compounds are present
  • The fate of PFAS in compost
  • PFAS in biosolids

Speaker:Youn Jeong Choi, PhD
Dr. Youn Jeong Choi is an analytical chemist in the Department of Agronomy at Purdue University. Prior to that, she worked at Colorado School of Mines in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as a Postdoctoral fellow for transformation and transport of AFFF in soil/groundwater, and at Purdue to evaluate PFAS level and leaching potential from composts as a postdoctoral researcher following the award of her PhD from the Purdue University. Her research focuses on understanding the environmental fate and transport of emerging contaminants in various media, grounded in fundamental concepts of chemistry and development of analytical methodology, including high-performance mass spectrometry techniques for non-targeted analysis.Moderator:Bryan Staley, PhD, PE
Dr. Bryan Staley currently serves as President and CEO of the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF), one of the largest sources of research funding and graduate scholarships related to solid waste management. He joined EREF in 2008, where he started as Vice President of Environmental Programs, and has over 20 years’ experience in the environmental engineering field.

He is recognized nationally as a technical expert in sustainable solid waste management issues, and obtained a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University, where his research focused on understanding microbiological mechanisms for waste decomposition and methane generation from solid waste. He also holds a Master’s degree in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Tennessee, and a B.S. in Biological & Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University.

Dr. Staley is a licensed professional engineer who has held key positions in consulting firms as a Project Manager and Vice President of Engineering, where he managed projects ranging from solid waste management, wastewater treatment system design, to retail/commercial land development and environmental management of large-scale livestock operations.


May 13, 2021
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT


EREF Education Program
(919) 861-6876
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