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Grand Challenges: An Innovative Approach to Remove Emerging Organic Contaminants from the Environment

Grant Type: Individual Project Grant
Topics: Climate Change and Global Health
College Represented: ENGR

Grand Challenges Grants Program


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are ubiquitous emerging contaminants (ECs) that are persistent throughout the environment, bioaccumulative in ecosystems, and ultimately enter human bodies via food web, threatening the public health and ecosystem safety. Currently, the presence of PFAS in all types of waters and human bodies through the US has been documented. However, cost-effective individual technique for simultaneously removing PFAS compounds with various lengths and functional groups are still not available. This project is developing a new adsorbent through an innovative bio-chemically process for enhancing the removal of both short- and long- chain PFAS in environments. The new adsorbent should be readily transferable to different scales/regions in the U.S., where they can be easily customized for use at varying site size and dimension constraints.

PI: Guangbin Li (ENGR),
Assistant Professor,
Civil and Environmental Engineering

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