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  • Evaluation of GAC and Ion Exchange Resins for Removal of PFAS from Groundwater

Evaluation of GAC and Ion Exchange Resins for Removal of PFAS from Groundwater

  • 14 Sep 2022
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • ONLINE: Zoom link to be provided in registration reminder email


(depends on selected options)

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Evaluation of GAC and Ion Exchange Resins for Removal of PFAS from Groundwater

Presented by

Dr. Mark E. Fuller, Senior Research Scientist at Aptim


Ion exchange (IX) is being proposed as a viable technology for removal of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) in contaminated groundwater, and has been hypothesized as a better technology for PFAS removal than activated carbon.  There is also an interest in the use of regenerable resins for PFAS treatment, as this is expected to reduce costs.  With all these approaches, the treatment essentially results in a simple transfer of the PFAS contaminants from the aqueous phase to the solid phase (or from the original water to the spent regeneration brine in the case of regenerable resins), which then also must be addressed.  Several of these issues have been addressed during a collaborative Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) project performed by a collaboration between Aptim, Temple University, and Purolite Corp.  Initial laboratory experimentation was performed to evaluate and downselect several single use and regenerable resins, and compare their PFAS removal to a widely used granular activated carbon (GAC).  A follow-on six month pilot scale demonstration at a PFAS contaminated site was performed to compare the performance of GAC, a single use resin, and two regenerable resins.  Additional experiments were performed to demonstrate proof-of-concept for sonochemical degradation of PFAS in spent regeneration brine.  During the pilot study, shorter carbon chain PFAS compounds evidenced breakthrough at roughly equivalent bed volumes (BV) for all the media tested, while longer carbon chain compounds were better retained.  The regenerable resins showed faster breakthrough than the single use resin, but effectiveness could be restored after regeneration with a solvent based brine.  PFAS in a simulated spent brine were shown to be amenable to sonochemical destruction.  Overall, the results indicate that a treatment train consisting of a combination of regenerable resins to remove shorter carbon chain PFAS, followed by a nonregenerable resins to address longer chain PFAS, may be viable and cost effective approach for PFAS contaminated groundwater.


Dr. Mark E. Fuller, a Senior Research Scientist at Aptim, is a broadly trained environmental scientist with over 25 years experience in the fate and transport of environmental pollutants.  Mark’s research experience has included development of innovative technologies and evaluation of biological and chemical methods for remediation of a wide range of soil and groundwater contaminants, including explosives, chlorinated solvents, and hydrocarbons, and more recently, PFAS.  Mark received his B.S (Microbiology) from Cornell University, his Ph.D. (Microbiology) from the University of California, Davis, and did post-doctoral research at Argonne National Laboratory.


This seminar does qualify for 1.0 Professional Development Hour (PDH). A Certificate of Attendance will be available for AWRA-PMAS members only. The meeting price for non-members who wish to receive a Certificate of Attendance for the PDH is $10.00 ($3.00 for meeting + $7.00 for certificate).  

Please note: Presentation is to be given through Zoom at the link below. PDH's will be issued through PDFs. Please allow extra time to register through Zoom and get software set up. Presentation will start at noon. Early participants will be in a Waiting Room until noon. Participants must email to request PDH Certificate after the event.

Presentation link will be provided in registration reminder email. Zoom link should only be used by those who register for the event through AWRA directly. 

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