Speaker: Todd DeJournett, PhD, PE, Senior Engineer, Geosyntec Consultants
Moderator: Craig Benson, PhD, PE, NAE, Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Geosyntec, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota, is studying the use of commercially-available polymer flocculants to improve PFAS removal in landfill leachate management operations. Polymer flocculants are water-soluble polymers which cause particles to aggregate, making them easier to filter out of a liquid.
While these polymers have previously been shown to bind PFAS to aquifer solids, like gravel or sand, in groundwater applications, the current research seeks to answer whether or not the polymers can achieve a similar result in landfill leachate. In this approach, the application of polymers, along with solid particles that can be settled from the leachate is proposed to sequester PFAS from leachate in solid materials that can be placed back in the landfill.
Although the complex nature of landfill leachate presents challenges for binding PFAS by the polymers, the team is gaining an understanding of the characteristics of leachate that contribute to these limitations. The team is also evaluating different combinations of polymer and ballast materials to determine if removal of PFAS from landfill leachate via this method can be feasible in a typical solid waste operation.
During this Science Session, DeJournett will cover the following:
- The conceptual model for this method and its value proposition
- Some of the technical challenges associated with this method
- Results available so far and the researchers’ next steps