Development of innovative remediation strategies for PFAS-contaminated sites in Austria

2024 - 2026

Altlastenforschung der KPC - BMK

National Partners:

AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology (Univ.Doz. Mag. Dr. Thomas G. Reichenauer)

Uni Wien – Universität Wien (Univ.Prof. Dr. Thilo Hofmann)

Contact Person:
Ottavia Zoboli, Heidi Schaar

Project Staff:
Ralph Benco, Ernis Saracevic, Camila Aguetoni Cambui

Brief information on the project

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are of anthropogenic origin. The individual PFAS are used in a variety of products and applications and pose a significant risk to the environment and human health due to their mobility, persistence and toxicity.

The use of fluorinated fire-fighting foams (AFFF - aqueous film forming foams) is considered the main PFAS hotspots or contaminated sites in Austria. In addition, the use of PFAS-containing products since the 1950s results in the suspicion that old landfills may also contribute to the spread of PFAS in the environment.

The aim of this project is the development, testing and evaluation of different in-situ and on-site remediation technologies for PFAS contaminated sites in Austria. In a first step, typologies of PFAS contaminated sites will be identified and characterised. Furthermore, relevant remediation approaches and technologies are analysed and developed on a laboratory scale. The targeted methods are listed below:

  • Immobilisation by sorption with innovative sorption materials and binders
  • Abiotic degradation with (modified) nano-iron particles and advanced oxidation processes
  • Biotic degradation under aerobic and anaerobic conditions
  • Combinations of immobilisation, abiotic and biotic degradation