From Research and Development to PFAS Project Implementation

PFAS remediation in soil site tour demo day in Alaska

TRS personnel (center) lead a tour at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska, where TRS is using its thermal conduction heating technology on PFAS containing ex situ soil stockpiles.

Since its inception in 2000, TRS Group (TRS) has been dedicated to advancing in situ thermal remediation (ISTR) technologies. We realize that commitment with a robust research and development (R&D) effort.

In 2020, the Department of Defense (DOD) awarded to TRS and our co-performers four per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) treatment projects. The Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) funded two field studies on the in situ and ex situ thermal desorption of PFAS from soil and a project focused on cleaning out aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) from firefighting systems. The Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (NAVFAC EXWC) funded a fourth project focused on using the patented PerfluorAd technology to treat PFAS in water. Developed by Cornelsen GmbH, a TRS thermal remediation partner in Essen, Germany, PerfluorAd is a plant-based material that adheres to PFAS to form easily filtered particles. It is ideally suited for cleaning out AFFF-impacted fire suppression systems. TRS is the exclusive licensee of the technology in North America for AFFF applications. We have expanded our equipment fleet to include an AFFF cleanout system and a PerfluorAd water treatment plant, capable of treating 20 gallons per minute.

Currently, our R&D team is working on reducing the costs of our patented thermal treatment of PFAS system and our patent-pending FlexHeater® thermal conduction heating services.

Brief descriptions of our DOD funded projects follow:

In Situ Thermal Treatment of PFAS in the Vadose Zone (ER20-5250)
This ESTCP project focuses on applying TRS’ patent-pending FlexHeater® thermal conduction heating services for PFAS removal from vadose zone soils. University laboratory results show that TRS’ patented PFAS remediation method achieves PFAS removal efficiencies of 99.998%. NAVFAC leads the project with Jacobs and TRS as co-performers. TRS anticipates a late 2021 or early 2022 implementation.

Ex Situ Thermal Treatment of PFAS (ER20-5198)
Using the same patented and patent-pending services as the in situ project mentioned above, this ESTCP project focuses on PFAS containing ex situ soil stockpiles at Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska. Paragon Professional Services, LLC leads the project with Brown University and TRS as co-performers. The team is conducting its field demonstration now and expects to have removal efficiency data within a few months.

TRS employee Greg Knight (left) monitors the PerfluorAd™ AFFF treatment system as it works to remove PFAS from firefighting vehicle rinsate at a fire station in New England.
Greg Knight (left) of TRS monitors the PerfluorAd™ AFFF treatment system as it works to remove PFAS from firefighting vehicle rinsate at a fire station in New England.

Sustainable Firefighting System Cleanout and Rinsate Treatment Using PerfluorAd (ER20-5370)
This ESTCP project focuses on PFAS removal from firefighting vehicle rinsate using the PerfluorAd AFFF treatment system for PFAS floc generation and filtration. CDM Smith leads the project with TRS and Cornelsen as co-performers.

PerfluorAdTreatment of PFAS in Water
This NAVFAC EXWC funded project focuses on the removal of PFAS from water using the PerfluorAd technology  and treatment plant. NAVFAC leads the project with TRS and Cornelsen as co-performers. Ongoing treatability testing will determine the optimal PerfluorAd dosage for treatment of PFAS containing water at a naval base in Washington state.

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