Cyclopure adsorbent approved to treat PFAS in Massachusetts

In the US, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Drinking Water Program (DWP) has granted approval of Cyclopure’s Dexsorb adsorbent to remove PFAS6 chemicals from drinking water.

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Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of synthetic chemicals known for their persistence in the environment and adverse health effects. In October 2020, MassDEP established the Massachusetts Maximum Contaminant Level (MMCL), a PFAS public drinking water standard, at 20 parts per trillion (ppt) for the sum of concentrations of six PFAS chemicals: PFOS, PFOA, PFHxS, PFNA, PFHpA, and PFDA.

Dexsorb is a first-ever adsorbent designed specifically to remove PFAS from water supplies. Made with renewable cyclodextrins, the media features 0.78 nanometer adsorbent cups with molecular selectivity for PFAS. Trillions of cyclodextrin cups in each gram of Dexsorb create a network of uniform pore structures with rapid uptake and superior capacity, more than ten times of activated carbon. These features make Dexsorb a highly efficient solution for the treatment of drinking and nondrinking water. The media is certified to NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 standards, validating its safety for use to treat public drinking water.

Statewide approval from MassDEP certifies the use of Dexsorb to eliminate PFAS in drinking water systems throughout the state.

Frank Cassou, Cyclopure CEO, said: "New Technology Approval is a significant milestone that validates the effectiveness and reliability of Dexsorb to treat PFAS-impacted water supplies, providing communities with a proven solution to safeguard their water quality. Cyclopure is grateful to the efforts of MassDEP for its thorough review and to the City of Newburyport for hosting the Dexsorb demonstration pilot.”

A pilot study was conducted at Bartlett Spring Pond, a source water for the Newburyport Water Treatment Plant (NWTP). The pilot system, designed in collaboration with MassDEP DWP and AECOM, operated for 15 months during 2022 and 2023. The Dexsorb demonstration system reduced excessive levels of PFAS6 in pond water to non-detect throughout the study period, forming the basis for New Technology Approval.

Cyclopure’s Dexsorb is being deployed in the US to treat PFAS contamination in a variety of water environments and treatment scenarios, including surface water, groundwater, wastewater, and landfill leachate. The technology has gained broad appeal for its high capacity and performance against diverse PFAS, and for its insulation from competing effects of organic matter and inorganic ions.

“A lot of attention is being given to destruction technologies, which are required to prevent PFAS from reentering the environment. But, a backend destruction technology requires a highly effective frontend removal technology for complete PFAS elimination,” added Cassou. “Dexsorb has established itself as a leading adsorbent technology for large-scale PFAS treatment operations. The ability to regenerate Dexsorb and isolate PFAS waste in concentrated form makes it highly compatible with destruction technologies.”