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Chemicals, PFAS, PFOA, PFOS, perfluorinated compounds
Photo: David Lagerlöf

Testbed PFAS

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

Testbed PFAS

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 defence sector are conducting a research project, Testbed PFAS. The project invites companies, innovators, researchers and other players 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 Material Administration and the Swedish Fortifications Agency.

Read more on the website of Testbed PFAS.

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

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, i.e. 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 the EU, Sweden, together with several other member states, are working to limit all PFAS substances as a group.

Summary

Project name

Testbed PFAS

Status

Completed

RISE role in project

Coordinator

Project start

Duration

2023-12-31

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

Enhetschef

Read more about Tove

Contact Tove
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