This is a past event.
Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar
Rose Turner, Environmental Engineering MS Student
Dr. Daisuke Minakata, Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering , Michigan Technological University
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are an emerging group of contaminants that are potentially carcinogenic to humans and have been found in the environment and various commercial products. Since the late 1940s, there have been over 4000 different types of PFASs with diverse functional groups produced and used globally. Because of the large number of structurally diverse PFAS chemicals, it has been challenging to prioritize the groups of PFASs for the development of remediation technologies such as advanced oxidation reduction processes (AORP) which rely on the generation of highly reactive radicals and solvated electrons.
In this study, we will cover an overview of PFASs by addressing various challenges in natural environments, toxicity, and remediation technologies in water and wastewater. The talk will cover recent advancement in the prioritization of PFASs selected from US EPA’s PFAS priority list by using computational chemistry tools to calculate the relative one electron reduction potentials. It was found that the one electron reduction potentials greatly depend on the functional group present and range from 0.36 V to -3.79 V. It was also found that the influence of chain length on the reduction potential is class dependent. Given a new PFAS compound with a known structure, this correlation can be used to estimate the one electron reduction potential using the Taft constant and the feasibility of reduction can be evaluated.