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Does the disposal of PFAS-containing special wastes impact leachate PFAS concentrations?

Does the Disposal of PFAS-containing Special Wastes Impact Leachate PFAS Concentrations?

Investigator: North Carolina State University

Start Date:
January 2022Award Amount:
$261,992The presence of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in landfill leachate is well established and expected given the wide array of consumer products in which PFAS has been used. In addition to municipal solid waste (MSW), Subtitle D landfills receive a range of other non-hazardous solid wastes including, for example, biosolids, water treatment residuals, solidified reverse osmosis (RO) concentrate and spent activated carbon from treating PFAS-containing water, construction and demolition (C&D) waste, non-hazardous industrial waste (e.g., auto shredder residue or ASR), off-spec industrial products and contaminated soil. While the presence of PFAS in landfill leachate is well-documented, there is no information on whether the acceptance of PFAS-containing special wastes impact leachate PFAS concentrations and mass loadings given that MSW has been shown to release PFAS to leachate. The overall objective of the proposed research is to measure the extent to which the addition of PFAS-containing special wastes to MSW influences PFAS concentrations and the PFAS chemical signature in leachate.

Specific objectives are to:

· measure PFAS concentrations and composition in leachate in simulated landfill systems with and without the addition of a variety of specials wastes to MSW,

· estimate the total mass of PFAS released from each special waste investigated, and

· evaluate PFAS concentration data from landfills that do and do not have a history of special waste acceptance.