CS6: Fate and transport and (bio)remediation of soil and groundwater contaminated by PFAS from AFFFs, Orléans





Our aim: To assess PFAS fate and migration from soil to groundwater and technologies for their treatment


When AFFF (aqueous fire-fighting foam) is used, the surrounding soil and groundwater can be contaminated with PFAS. Case Study 6 has therefore set itself the goal to assess PFAS fate and migration from soil to groundwater and to develop innovative, sustainable, and cost-effective technologies for the treatment of soil and groundwater polluted by PFAS.

To reach this goal, Case Study 6 is conducting experimental application of AFFFs on topsoil under controlled conditions from lab-scale to semi-real conditions in an experimental platform in Orléans called PMP PRIME, a research infrastructure that connects laboratory experiments and full-scale tests.

In the PMP, Promisces Partner BRGM will perform a long-term experiment over 9 months. The monitoring will be carried out by using water sampling at several depths for analysis as well as specific probes and sensors. By reproducing the soil, vadose zone and groundwater matrices at semi-real scale, the PMP plant provides 4D monitoring of the unsaturated-saturated continuum. It is the ideal environment for scaling up TRL and validating and demonstrating remediation technologies.

What we have done so far...


We already reached two milestones: First, models of transport of PFAS in the vadose and saturated zone were performed using literature data. Second, the first experiments were carried out in an unsaturated column and the protocol was validated. The first results are currently being evaluated.

Also, there are laboratory experiments in progress to assess the fate and transport of PFAS in a porous media to design the pilot-scale test planned in 2023. In parallel, we are designing remediation tests to remove PFAS, one for the vectorization of ISCR chemicals in porous media, and the second to characterize the best formulation for NNF foams. The injection of NNF is a very promising technology in the field of in-situ treatment of soils and groundwater. Improving the know-how on this technology in the framework of PROMISCES will allow its application to many other polluted sites (alluvial medium, fractured medium).