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Chemicals, PFAS, PFOA, PFOS, perfluorinated compounds
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Testbed PFAS

RISE is coordinating a collaboration research project, Testbed PFAS, together with the Swedish Defense Sector. The project evaluates remediation of PFAS from ground and water, and alternative PFAS-free fire extinguishing agents and methods.

Chemicals, PFAS, PFOA, PFOS, perfluorinated compounds

News April 2021

RISE tests for PFAS remediation and alternative extinguishing methods

For just over a year, RISE has been running the joint project Testbed PFAS together with the defense sector in Sweden. The project invites companies, innovators, researchers and other actors who want to test their solutions and products in a professional laboratory environment and on contaminated areas. The results will contribute to society's need for realistic, sustainable and cost-effective after-treatment methods for PFAS pollutants, as well as to new alternative extinguishing agents and extinguishing methods.

The evaluations are proceeding according to plan and during the past year about 40 tests and evaluations have been carried out in the laboratory environment and in fire halls. The next step is to expand the project with more laboratory scale experiments but also larger field scale experiments in physical locations and there test solutions for purification of soil and water that contain high levels of PFAS.

- Last year, the project's start-up year, RISE carried out around 40 tests and evaluations of various solutions within LEGACY and FUTURE with exciting results. This year, we are shifting up and conducting even more tests and evaluations on a laboratory scale in order to be able to move on to larger-scale trials in fields on contaminated soil and fire test fields. Regarding purification of water and soil from PFAS, we have seen that different methods may complement each other and that a combination of different techniques may be required to solve different contamination situations, says Project manager Tove Mallin.

 

PFAS is a group of chemicals currently used in a large number of products around the world, such as all-weather clothing, food packaging, cosmetics, car wax, ski wax and impregnation products. PFAS is also found in fire extinguishing foams at civilian and military airports, in municipal rescue services and in permanent fire extinguishing systems in industry. PFAS is in principle not degraded in nature and may adversely affect human and animal health.

To help solve the problems, RISE and the Swedish defense sector are conducting a research project, Testbed PFAS. The project invites companies, innovators, researchers and other actors who want to test their solutions and products in a professional laboratory environment and on contaminated areas. The results will contribute to society's need for realistic, sustainable and cost-effective post-treatment techniques for PFAS contaminations, as well as to new long-term alternative fire extinguishing agents and extinguishing methods. The work is carried out in two tracks, LEGACY and FUTURE.

LEGACY evaluates methods for post-treatment of contaminated water and ground. FUTURE tests and evaluates alternatives to substitute PFAS in fire extinguishing to provide future PFAS-free firefighting.

The project started in 2020 and is run and financed by RISE, the Swedish Armed Forces, the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration and the Swedish Fortifications Agency.

 

The testbed consists of:

  • Laboratories in Borås

    • Sampling

    • Sample preparation

    • PFAS analysis

    • Verification and validation

  • Fire halls and fire fighting test fields

    • From small objects to aircraft 

    • Full scale fire extinguishing systems 

  • PFAS-contaminated areas in Sweden

    • Full scale test and evaluation

  • Expertise

    • Access gathered expertise of the testbed

 

Testbed PFAS seeks testers

There are currently no sustainable methods for processing soil or water, contaminated with PFAS. There is a great need for objective and independent identification and evaluation of various decontamination methods. Identification and evaluation of substitutes for firefighting foams containing PFAS is also necessary, in order to facilitate efficient and sustainable firefighting of complex fires.

For this reason, in cooperation with the Swedish defence authorities, RISE will set up a testbed for identifying, verifying and validating methods for processing contaminated soil and other areas, as well as for testing and evaluating substitutes and substitute methods for future PFAS-free firefighting. The testbed is to contribute to the societal need for realistic and cost-efficient decontamination methods to be used on PFAS-contaminated soil and water. The results from the test bed are to be used as a basis for future procurement of services and methods.

We are now looking for companies, innovators, researchers and other actors as testers within the field of decontamination methods as well as producers of alternative solutions within the field of substitutes, methods and firefighting equipment. Selection and prioritization of testers will be made by the testbed steering group.

To report your interest, please e-mail your contact information and a description of the method/solution for decontamination or firefighting  to the following address: testbedpfas@ri.se

If you have any questions, please contact Tove Mallin, RISE, e-mail: tove.mallin@ri.se, Telephone number: +46 (0)10-516 5567


What is PFAS?

Per- and polyfluorinated alkylsubstances (PFAS) is a group of artificial highly fluorinated substances consisting of more than 4700 different identified substances.

Today PFAS is used in many consumer goods and chemical products due to their water and dirt repellent function in, for example, clothing, shoes and food packaging, but is also found in fire foams, ski waxes, cosmetics, furniture and electronics.

The PFAS substances are persistent, ie they are extremely difficult to degrade and remain when released into nature. However, the PFAS substances are a large group of chemicals that have different physico-chemical properties and therefore they behave differently in nature and in the human body.

PFASs are sometimes divided into short-chain and long-chain. The long-chain PFASs include PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid).

PFOS and PFOA are classified as reproductive toxicants and are suspected carcinogens, these two PFASs and substances that may degrade to them are regulated by EU legislation and may no longer be manufactured or put on the market in a product. Within EU, Sweden, together with several other member states, is working to limit all PFAS substances as a group.


Summary

Project name

Testbed PFAS

Status

Active

RISE role in project

Coordinator

Project start

Duration

2024-12-31

Partner

The Swedish Armed Forces, The Fortifications Agency, The Swedish Defense Materiel Administration

Coordinators

Supports the UN sustainability goals

3. Good health and well-being
6. Clean water and sanitation
12. Responsible consumption and production

Contact person

Tove Mallin

Forskare

Read more about Tove

Contact Tove

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