Project #5102

Application of Novel Method to Estimate Total PFAS Content in Water

In Progress
Principal Investigator
Research Manager
Ms. Mary Smith
University of Notre Dame
Water Quality
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)


Concern over per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in drinking water supplies has increased recently due to the possible harmful effects PFAS have on humans and the environment. Water utilities are working to reliably and accurately determine whether and where PFAS occur in their source waters, and to monitor for PFAS removal of treatment systems. This project will explore the use of particle-induced gamma ray emission (PIGE) spectrometry as a rapid and practical complement to conventional, mass spectrometry-based analytical methods to screen for the occurrence of PFAS in surface water, recycled water, and groundwater. This will be the first use of total fluorine measurements to screen for PFAS contamination in various aqueous matrices relevant to drinking water providers. If the method is validated over a wide range of concentrations and different sample types, then the speed and resultant low cost of PIGE screening would allow more testing of water sources for PFAS at a lower cost than current methods.