PFAS Behavior in Solid Waste Combustion Treatment at Landfills

Investigators: University of Vermont; Sanborn Head & Associates; Weston Solutions; North Carolina State University

Start Date:
September 2021

Award Amount:

PFAS are presenting significant challenges to the solid waste industry, as facilities are the de facto collection point of PFAS that are widely used in commerce and ubiquitous in waste streams. Information on PFAS emissions to air is limited, but public concerns and regulatory demands will likely grow as the focus on PFAS expands beyond drinking water. US EPA-funded research will characterize PFAS in landfill gas (LFG), enabling the estimation of fugitive emissions, but most LFG is collected and treated through combustion. Measuring emissions and destruction efficiencies from LFG-fueled engines and flares will allow for estimation of total PFAS emissions from landfills. Proactive investigation of impacts from these sources will provide the industry with data to judge the potential significance of PFAS emissions and assist in developing information to address questions and concerns that will likely arise, and hence support EREF’s mission to promote safe, sustainable waste management practices.

Research objectives are to:

• Measure PFAS emissions from combustion sources at landfill facilities and assess PFAS behavior in combustion systems

• Examine intra-and inter-facility emissions variability and characteristics

• Evaluate PFAS destruction efficiencies in LFG combustion sources

• Evaluate PFAS impacts to ambient air and exposure due to combustion emissions