Release of PFAS from selected consumer products and building materials waste
Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are manmade chemicals with unique properties.
Often called “forever chemicals”, PFAS do not break down easily and potentially are toxic to humans and biota. PFAS are widely used in different consumer products (e.g., non-stick cookware, fast-food wrapping, medical equipment, and cosmetics) and in building materials (e.g., for weatherproofing, corrosion prevention, and stain resistance). Indeed, the regular use and disposal of these products in landfills at the end of their life can result in contamination of the surrounding environment with PFAS. Despite these concerns, there is limited information on the extent PFAS is released from some of these materials under relevant conditions.
Hence, this research project will focus on assessing the release of PFAS from selected consumer products and the building industry’s wastes. This project will involve the assessment of PFAS release using standard laboratory leaching procedures, and PFAS analysis using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy. This project will ideally suit an enthusiastic student who is interested in learning more about soil/environmental chemistry. This project will also provide an excellent opportunity to pursue a research career, or gain experience in a field of great environmental significance.
This project may be eligible for a $5000 student scholarship. Please contact the project supervisors for details and to express your interest.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the School of Agriculture, Food, and Wine Fertiliser group. Her research interests are on developing carbon-based materials for soil remediation as well as developing tools for assessing mobility of contaminants in stabilised soils.
Research Scientist at CSIRO Land and Water based at Waite Campus. She is an environmental chemist working on understanding the fate and behaviour of emerging contaminants such as perfluoroalkyl substances and nanomaterials with the view to mitigate their potential risks.