A recent article in EcoWatch indicates that 20 million acres of farmland in the US may be contaminated by PFAS, polyfluorinated alkyl substances, also known as "forever chemicals." PFAS are chemicals that were used often beginning in the 1950s in the manufacturing of many household products because they are resistant to water, heat, and oil. Unfortunately, PFAS don't break down and have since been found in water and soil throughout the US eventually finding their way into water and food sources and having adverse health effects on animals and humans.
According to the article:
“Almost all Americans have PFAS in their blood, reported EWG (Environmental Working Group). Since the chemicals don’t break down naturally, they often end up in the sewer system. Now, a new EWG report estimates that around 20 million acres of U.S. cropland could be contaminated by sewage sludge tainted by these forever chemicals.”
Due to minimal regulation, efforts to identify and remove PFAS have been minimal. However, additional EPA regulations around PFAS have begun and will likely continue to increase in coming years. As recently as May 2022, the EPA added additional regulations to address PFAS contamination.
These continued requirements will have an impact on wastewater treatment plants as they may need to treat sewage sludge for PFAS. PFAS can only be removed at very high temperatures. Fortunately, both Multiple Hearth Furnaces and Fluidized Bed Incinerators can get up to temperatures high enough to remove PFAS from waste with minimal adjustment. Multi Hearth Furnaces do have an advantage as they can flex temps up to 1832°F providing more flexibility and wear to ensure this high temperature to remove PFAS. In addition, if modifications are needed, parts for Multi Hearth Furnaces tend to be lower and the service life is longer.
Industrial Furnace Company can provide a new Multiple Hearth Furnace or Fluidized Bed Incinerator equipped for PFAS removal. We can also upgrade existing industrial furnace or incinerator to meet current EPA regulations that include the destruction of PFAS. Contact us for more information.