As a leader in the commercialization of equilibrium passive samplers for sediment pore water and surface water, SiREM is excited to Launch PFASsive™, a diffusion-based equilibrium passive sampler used to measure freely dissolved Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) at the Twelfth International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds at the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs California on May 22-26, 2022.

Anh Pham, Ph.D. (Ontario) from the University of Waterloo will present “Development of an Equilibrium Passive Sampler for Monitoring PFAS” at 12:10 PM local time in the Advances in the Analysis of Non-Tarter Per- and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) Platform Session. His co-presenters include Brent Pautler, Ph.D., Alexander Sweett, Faten Salim, Ph.D., Michael Healy, and Jeff Roberts from SiREM, Blessing Medon from the University of Waterloo, Florent Risacher, Lisa D’Agostino, Jason Conder and Rachel Zajac-Fay from Geosyntec Consultants and Patricia McIsaac, Andrew Patterson and Robert Mitzel from Eurofins Environment Testing.

Experience the SiREM Difference: As is the case with SiREM’s other passive samplers (SP3™ and SPeeper™), PFASsive™ is offered as an end-to-end service where SiREM provides the samplers, optional support for diverless deployment, analytical chemistry (in partnership with Eurofins Environment Testing) and modelling of the final data to deliver the equilibrium concentration of PFAS. Overall, this sampler is easy to use, field evaluated and can be adapted to the growing list of PFAS chemicals of concern as both the regulations and analytical techniques evolve.

Recognized as the signature forum for the environmental remediation industry, the Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds conference covers topics that include innovations and technologies to address chlorinated and recalcitrant compounds in the environment. Battelle’s Chlorinated Conference is the premier gathering of environmental professionals researching and applying innovative technologies and approaches for characterization, monitoring, cleanup and management of complex sites contaminated with the most challenging classes of chemicals. The 2022 Chlorinated Conference will feature the largest technical program to date with more than 1,300 platform and poster presentations planned and 6 panel discussions.

Battelle is the largest independent nonprofit applied science and technology organization in the world. They support a diverse spectrum of clients, from small start-up companies to multinational corporations and government agencies. Battelle operates in a fast-paced environment to figure out the world’s most difficult scientific challenges. Their partners trust them to provide independent and advanced solutions that transform the world for the better. With 90 years of innovations and counting, they’re committed to problem-solve for the future.


 Background/Objectives. Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) have emerged as a concern at many sites due to the use of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF), containing high amounts of PFAS by volume. This historical use of AFFF in emergency response and firefighter training has resulted in the release of PFAS into groundwater, sediment, porewater, and surface water. As PFAS are persistent, bioaccumulate in living organisms, and have demonstrated toxicity in laboratory animals, there is a critical need to understand migration pathways and bioavailability of PFAS to ensure proper delineation and risk characterization. Although there are established sampling techniques available to analyze PFAS concentrations in sediment, porewater, and surface water, these techniques capture the total concentration, which may result in an overestimation of risk to human and ecological receptors. Therefore, a technique, tool, and/or technology that can assess bioavailability and risk of PFAS in the environment is required.

Approach/Activities.Traditional sampling methods for sediment, porewater, and surface water quantify total concentrations of chemicals present in that media by physical extraction. The use of total concentrations in risk assessments may result in an overestimation of risk, as only the bioavailable fraction of the chemical can bioaccumulate into organism tissues, resulting in exposures to human and ecological receptors. Although biota and tissue samples could be collected to assess this risk, these methods are time-consuming and costly. Passive sampling is a popular approach used by practitioners and regulators to assess bioavailability and risk through the dissolved phase of contaminants such as metals, persistent organic pollutants (i.e., PCBs, PAHs and pesticides), nutrients, pharmaceuticals, and others. Since PFAS are emerging contaminants, only very recently have researchers started investigating methods to measure the dissolved phase using passive samplers. Passive samplers traditionally used for hydrophobic organics are not amenable for PFAS; however, given their partially water-soluble nature and the ability of the commercial analytical laboratories to detect trace amounts of PFAS in water, a diffusion-based passive sampler is a good candidate for quantification of PFAS in groundwater, porewater and surface water. When deployed, analytes dissolved in the water or sediment equilibrate with the water in the sampler through the semi-permeable membrane. Through a series of bench-scale and field experiments it has been shown that a diffusive sampler is an effective passive sampler for PFAS.

 Results/Lessons Learned.Results from both targeted (35 compounds) and non-targeted (LC-QTOF) results from in situ field testing of a passive sampler for sediment porewater, surface water and grab sampling showcase validate that this passive sampler design is suitable for determination of freely available PFAS. Technical analytical chemistry advancements will also be presented to further expand the capabilities of characterization of these emerging contaminants.

Contact SiREM for more information on our pore water sampling services

pdf SiREM Sediment Pore Water Sampler for PFAS

More Information

About the event: Battelle Chlorinated Conference
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