Presented on August 24, 2023 | Presentation Slides



“Ion Exchange Membranes and Fibers as Passive Samplers for Chemically-Diverse PFAS” by Dr. Lee Blaney (SERDP Project ER20-1073

New strategies are needed to bolster efforts to efficiently measure and monitor per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at Department of Defense (DoD) facilities. This project supports SERDP’s goals of developing novel passive samplers for PFAS. Passive samplers are typically deployed in water or sediment, where they accumulate contaminants over days or weeks. Following the deployment period, the samplers are retrieved for extraction and analysis of contaminant levels. Then, known equilibrium or kinetic relationships are employed to back-calculate time-averaged or integrated concentrations of the contaminant in the dissolved phase. The wide-ranging physicochemical properties of PFAS complicate conventional passive sampling techniques. In this project, we leveraged the anionic head groups of prioritized PFAS to enable passive sampling strategies with anion exchange membranes, which are widely used in other water/wastewater processes. The ion exchange mechanism provides key advantages with respect to the development of universal calibrations that can be used in variable water quality conditions. This presentation will describe the justification for using ion exchange membranes as passive samplers for PFAS, the uptake and transport of PFAS in anion exchange membranes under different water quality conditions, and the development and performance of prototype samplers. 

“Field-Ready PFAS Passive Sampler Calibrated to EPA 1633 Analytes” by Dr. Paul Edmiston (SERDP Project ER20-1127

PFAS are a class of persistent contaminants that are increasingly being monitored in the hydrosphere. Passive sampling is emerging as an alternative to discrete sampling for environmental monitoring due to its advantages of reducing costs and providing a time-averaged measurement of concentration. This presentation will cover the basics of passive sampling and will summarize the results of SERDP supported work on the development of a PFAS specific passive sampler, the Sentinel passive sampler. The effectiveness of passive sampler measurements validated via laboratory studies and field trials in both groundwater monitoring wells and surface water systems will be presented. Strategies on the use of the Sentinel passive sampler for groundwater, surface water, and stormwater monitoring in accordance with EPA 1633 will be reviewed. 

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Lee Blaney is a professor in the Department of Chemical, Biochemical, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. He has served as principal or co-principal investigator on projects related to (i) environmental analysis, occurrence, fate, transport, and toxicity of contaminants of emerging concern, and (ii) water/wastewater treatment and recovery of inorganic contaminants. Dr. Blaney’s research has been funded by SERDP, National Science Foundation (NSF), United States Geological Survey, United States Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, and others. He is the recipient of the Environmental Science and Technology James J. Morgan Early Career Award, the NSF Career Award, and the AEESP Award for Outstanding Teaching in Environmental Engineering and Science. He has authored over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and delivered over 150 technical presentations around the world. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in environmental engineering from Lehigh University, and a doctoral degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Dr. Paul Edmiston is the Theron and Dorothy Peterson Professor of chemistry at The College of Wooster. He is an analytical chemist with expertise in the identification and quantitation of small molecules by mass spectrometry (GC-MS, LC-MS/MS, LC-Q-ToF). His work focuses on developing specialized adsorbents optimized to bind PFAS and other compounds, and specifically, on advanced materials for water purification using mesoporous organosilica, as well as chemical sensors based on molecularly imprinted materials. He was Chief Science Officer of ABS Materials from 2008 to 2016, commercializing Osorb® type adsorbents. He is currently a principal investigator of SERDP projects on the measurement and treatment of PFAS. Dr. Edmiston has authored over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles. He received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Pepperdine University and a doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of Arizona.