Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have gained a lot of attention recently and there are many groups and agencies working hard to fully understand the science behind the compounds, impacts to the environment and public health, how widespread they are, and the best management strategies to remove them. As USEPA continues with its roadmap, state and local agencies are driving their regulations forward, with some limits much stricter than the current federal health advisory level of 70 ppt.
Because many PFAS-containing materials end up in landfills, solid waste companies need to figure out how they plan to start removing PFAS from their leachate or face the risk of being cut off by their WWTPs. Without proper removal or destruction, PFAS pass through conventional treatment processes and enter the environment.
WWTPs do not want to have that extra burden of handling elevated levels of PFAS in their wastewater, so they WILL CUT OFF A LANDFILL and not allow leachate from entering their facility. This could happen suddenly and without much notice, leaving the landfill managers scrambling for alternative options.
In fact, this scenario is already becoming reality for landfills in some states, and it will only become more common in the next couple of years.
LMS has partnered with The Water and Carbon Group (WCG) to offer its foam fractionation process called The LEEF System® as a low-energy PFAS extraction and volume reduction system. Based in Australia, WCG developed the LEEF System® to treat highly contaminated wastewater such as landfill leachate or brine streams from industrial or mining activities. A key feature is that pre-treatment is typically not required for direct PFAS removal.
The technology combines a proprietary multiple step foam fractionation and enclosed solar distilling system to deliver a unique and proven PFAS solution centered around harnessing air, gravity, and the sun.
The system has been engineered to sharply reduce high energy consumption and large waste streams that plague existing systems while utilizing renewable and naturally occurring resources. Throughout the process, zero chemicals or consumables are used, resulting in a simple to operate, low maintenance system. Using a modular design, the system can be easily scaled to meet any volume requirements.
The system removes greater than 99% of PFAS contaminants within 15 minutes, treating wastewater to within regulatory discharge limits with results as low as ~10 ppt to 200 ppt. The final extracted waste stream is then reduced passively to below 1% of the initial treated volume.
The modular system uses minimal energy and can be assembled to treat any volume from 7,500 gpd to 250,000 gpd.
The approach has successfully undergone significant testing at sites in Australia, including a major project at a landfill in the Northern Territory that had complex leachate and climatic conditions. As shown in the chart, one site with PFAS over 19,000 ppt was able to drop it below 78 ppt using the system, while another was able to remove the compounds to below 5 ppt.
The LEEF System® Benefits:
• Direct PFAS Removal Without Pre- treatment
• Removal to Limit of Detection
• Flow Rates 7,500 gpd to 250,000 gpd
• Below 1% Waste Stream
• Multiple Treatment Capacities
• Multiple Project Delivery Methods
• Low Energy & Operational Requirements
• Easily Scalable & Modular