Date of Defense
Date of Graduation
Chemical and Paper Engineering
Water contamination is an increasing global issue, particularly in the Midwest region of the United States. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) compounds are among the many worrisome contaminants as they may produce harm to the environment and human health. In this project, hydrophobic deep eutectic solvents and filtration processes were used to extract PFAS from water. The extraction efficiencies of solvents for PFAS were confirmed using high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectroscopy. After confirming extraction efficiency, a treatment procedure was designed for integration into an existing small-scale water treatment plant. The designed process provides an option for PFAS removal in addition to solvent recovery methods.
This project utilized a linoleic acid and cineole extraction solvent with the option of a cyclodextrin filter. An incoming stream of water at a flow rate of 60 GPM containing 1 ppb of PFAS was used for this process All long chain PFAS and 25% of the short chain was assumed to be removed from an initial foam fractionating process leaving behind only short chain PFAS. Water containing only short chain PFAS is further treated until there is a PFAS concentration of at most 56 ppt (short chain only) or 18 ppt if additional filtering is required.
For this process, it was determined that the total capital investment for this project is $27.4 million. A source of income includes selling dried PFAS for research purposes. It was also proposed that the government imposes a tax on companies of $247,130 per gram of PFAS released into the water, and this would act as another source of income. This tax is the amount of money it costs to remove one gram of PFAS from water for this process. This results in a return on investment of 47.34%, an internal rate of return of 40%, a payback period 2.4 years, and net present value of $0. Additionally, the carbon footprint per year for the overall process is approximately 73 metric tons of CO2 which is below the reportable amount of harmful CO2 emissions regulated by the EPA. This process is both feasible and recommended for this process, but not substantially profitable.
Brandon, Aleya, "Removal of PFAS Contaminants from Water by Sorbent and Filtration Techniques" (2023). Honors Theses. 3628.
Restricted to Campus until
Available for download on Friday, May 30, 2025