The trials, undertaken at two independent institutions in the USA - the Water Hub at Colorado School of Mines and at the Heritage Research Group - show that the new material lasts longer and treats three times the amount of GenX compared with current ion exchange and activated carbon technologies. The material can remove GenX chemicals to below the 10 ppt (parts per trillion) health advisory proposed by the US Environment Protection Agency.
GenX chemicals belong to the family of per-and polyfluoroalkylated substances commonly known as PFAS. This group of more than 4700 man-made chemicals are known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they do not break down naturally in the environment. GenX chemical contaminants have been linked to serious health concerns like cancers, reproductive issues and the reduced efficacies of vaccines.
Using PFAS contaminated tap water in an operational environment with continuous flow, the GenX contaminants bind to Puraffinity’s material through a combination of electrostatic charge attractions and adsorption.
“They bind like Lego blocks as the water flows past,” explained Henrik Hagemann, CEO of Puraffinity. “And, once all the Puraffinity material is filled up with GenX, the material is engineered to unclick the bound GenX using a safe regeneration step. The Puraffinity material can then be re-used for non- point of use applications, like industrial or environmental remediation, enabling a circular economy for the future of water filtration materials.”
GenX chemicals are highly heat resistant and extremely water, fat and dirt repellent, which makes products containing them waterproof, stain-proof or non-stick.
“We are excited by third party results demonstrating that our next generation adsorbent performs strongly and can deal with these pollutants to avoid serious negative situations,” said Hagemann. “The adsorbent material can operate in both Brita type cartridge applications, where GenX chemicals can be removed at the smallest pitcher type scale, as well as in large steel tanks or vessels for industrial applications.”