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Posted: Sep 09, 2015
Using natural nanoparticles to remove perfluorinated compounds from polluted soils
(Nanowerk News) Perfluorinated compounds (PFC) are a new type of pollutants found in contaminated soils from industrial sites, airports and other sites worldwide.
PFC can induce adverse health effects, nerve problems and other health problems to humans and animals as well as long-term effects to the environment.
Transmission electron microscopy image of the natural nanoparticle. The particle size is 200 nm in diameter, and is magnified 57,000 times with transmission electron microscope (TEM). (Image: Fjordforsk AS)
Recent reports show that PFC have been detected in groundwater in Sweden, Norway and many other countries in Europe.
In Norway, The Environment Agency has published a plan to eliminate PFOS from the environment by 2020. In other countries such as China and the United States, the levels are far higher, and several studies show accumulation of PFOS in fish and animals, however no concrete measures have been taken.
The Norwegian company, Fjordforsk AS, which specializes in nanosciences and environmental methods, has developed a method to remove PFOS from soil by binding them to natural minerals. This method can be used to extract PFOS from contaminated soil and prevent leakage of PFOS to the groundwater.
Transmission electron microscopy image of the natural nanoparticle after adsorbing perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFC). PFC coating on nanoparticles is visible as a light and transparent layer on the surface. The particles are in the range of 100-200nm and are magnified 57.000 times with transmission electron microscopy (TEM). (Image: Fjordforsk AS)
Electron microscopy images show that the minerals have the ability to bind PFOS on the surface of the natural nanoparticles. The proprietary method does not contaminate the treated grounds with chemicals or other parts from remediation process and uses only natural components.