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Regional Stockholm Junior Water Prize, Third Place High School Award
HS-SUS09

Regeneration of Per/Polyfluoroalkyl Substance-Loaded Granular Activated Carbon with Energy-Efficient Microwave-Activated Magnetite

Sustainability and Renewable Energy
Henry Root

Grade:
10
Teacher:
Elyse Wexler

This project explored the regenerative properties of biochar with magnetite catalyzed microwave heating, showing successful regeneration for energy efficient removal of PFAS. Previous studies established that biochar is an effective means of removal for PFAS from water, additionally, it has been established that high temperatures can break down PFAS bonds. This study is the first to experiment with the high microwave activity of magnetite to superheat biochar after its use as an adsorbent, regenerating the biochar in an energy efficient method. This method is 10-20 times more energy efficient than current thermal PFAS treatment using conventional furnaces. Results showed that biochar is as, or more, efficient at removing PFAS from water after a regeneration cycle as seen in the data collected in this experiment. This small-scale proof of concept can be replicated and applied for commercial and municipal uses by military operations or cities. Removal, regeneration, and reuse are the key to reducing the issue of PFAS in our communities.


Project presentation

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Lab journal excerpts

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Research paper

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One thought on “Regeneration of Per/Polyfluoroalkyl Substance-Loaded Granular Activated Carbon with Energy-Efficient Microwave-Activated Magnetite

  1. Well documented, reproduceable procedure. Water quality will only become a more critical question in the future. Creative ideas such as yours will be the path to the solution. I encourage you to find quotative ways to measure PFAS to be able to optimize the process.

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