Behavior of Perfluorinated Sulfonic Acids (PFOS & PFBS) in Bromide-Treated Soils, Adelina Rolea, UG '22 (3959908)
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a family of chemicals that are persistent and ubiquitous in the environment. While perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) are currently regulated, as they are known to cause diseases of pregnancy and cancer, lesser understood short-chain compounds, such as perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS), are not. Consequently, there is much interest in determining the environmental fate of these compounds and their behavior in soil. Although specific mechanisms are not well understood, previous studies have shown that addition of bromide (Br-) enhanced the rapid breakdown of natural chlorinated compounds. The aim of this research project is to determine if PFOS and PFBS also experience rapid breakdown when exposed to Br- in different natural system conditions, which could prove significant in exploring new methods of dehalogenation remediation. Ultimately, neither dehalogenation nor breakdown of PFOS or PFBS was observed. However, in some cases, high amounts of PFOS adsorbed to soils after Br- exposure. Additionally, this study corroborates the findings of previous research that has shown that the addition of Br- results in a significant decrease in total chlorine concentration in oxic, A Horizon soils. Finally, the total elemental composition of the soils studied underwent unique and statistically significant changes in concentration after the addition of Br- and presence of PFOS or PFBS in different environmental conditions.