Publications by authors named "Tim Sidnell"

2 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substance remediation from soil and sorbents: A review of adsorption behaviour and ultrasonic treatment.

Chemosphere 2021 May 28;282:131025. Epub 2021 May 28.

University of Surrey, Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Surrey, England, GU2 7XH, UK. Electronic address:

Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are xenobiotics, present at variable concentrations in soils and groundwater worldwide. Some of the current remediation techniques being researched or applied for PFAS-impacted soils involve solidification-stabilisation, soil washing, excavation and disposal to landfill, on site or in situ smouldering, thermal desorption, ball milling and incineration. Given the large volumes of soil requiring treatment, there is a need for a more environmentally friendly technique to remove and treat PFASs from soils. Sorbents such as granular/powdered activated carbon, ion exchange resins and silicas are used in water treatment to remove PFAS. In this work, PFAS adsorption mechanisms and the effect of pore size, pH and organic matter on adsorption efficacy are discussed. Then, adsorption of PFAS to soils and sorbents is considered when assessing the viability of remediation techniques. Sonication-aided treatment was predicted to be an effective removal technique for PFAS from a solid phase, and the effect of varying frequency, power and particle size on the effectiveness of the desorption process is discussed. Causes and mitigation strategies for possible cavitation-induced particle erosion during ultrasound washing are also identified. Following soil remediation, degrading the extracted PFAS using sonolysis in a water-organic solvent mixture is discussed. The implications for future soil remediation and sorbent regeneration based on the findings in this study are given.
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May 2021

Ultrasonic degradation of perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) correlated with sonochemical and sonoluminescence characterisation.

Ultrason Sonochem 2020 Nov 13;68:105196. Epub 2020 Jun 13.

Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Sonolysis has been proposed as a promising treatment technology to remove per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) from contaminated water. The mechanism of degradation is generally accepted to be high temperature pyrolysis at the bubble surface with dependency upon surface reaction site availability. However, the parametric effects of the ultrasonic system on PFAS degradation are poorly understood, making upscale challenging and leading to less than optimal use of ultrasonic energy. Hence, a thorough understanding of these parametric effects could lead to improved efficiency and commercial viability. Here, reactor characterisation was performed at 44, 400, 500, and 1000 kHz using potassium iodide (KI) dosimetry, sonochemiluminescence (SCL), and sonoluminescence (SL) in water and a solution of potassium salt of PFOS (hereafter, K-PFOS). Then the degradation of K-PFOS (10 mg L in 200 mL solution) was investigated at these four frequencies. At 44 kHz, no PFOS degradation was observed. At 400, 500, and 1000 kHz the amount of degradation was 96.9, 93.8, and 91.2%, respectively, over four hours and was accompanied by stoichiometric fluoride release, indicating mineralisation of the PFOS molecule. Close correlation of PFOS degradation trends with KI dosimetry and SCL intensity was observed, which suggested degradation occurred under similar conditions to these sonochemical processes. At 1000 kHz, where the overall intensity of collapse was significantly reduced (measured by SL), PFOS degradation was not similarly decreased. Discussion is presented that suggests a hydrated electron degradation mechanism for PFOS may occur in ultrasonic conditions. This mechanism is a novel hypothesis in the field of PFAS sonolysis.
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November 2020