Main content area

Calibration and application of passive sampling for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in a drinking water treatment plant

Gobelius, Laura, Persson, Caroline, Wiberg, Karin, Ahrens, Lutz
Journal of hazardous materials 2019 v.362 pp. 230-237
drinking water, monitoring, perfluorocarbons, samplers, sorbents, surface area, water treatment
The aim of this study was to calibrate and apply polar organic chemical integrative samplers (POCIS) to examine 26 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in a drinking water treatment plant (DWTP). As a first step, the sampling rates (Rs) of 14 PFASs were determined in a laboratory calibration study for POCIS-WAX (weak-anion exchange) and POCIS-HLB (hydrophilic-lipophilic balance) (each with a surface area per mass of sorbent ratio of 227 cm² g⁻¹). While most PFASs were still in the linear uptake phase during the 28-day calibration study, Rs ranged from 0.003 to 0.10 L d⁻¹ for POCIS-WAX and 0.00052 to 0.13 for POCIS-HLB. It is important to note that POCIS-WAX had higher Rs for short-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs) with a perfluorocarbon chain length of C3-C6 and perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS) compared with POCIS-HLB. Furthermore, Rs was significantly positively correlated with the sorbent-water partition coefficient (Kpw) for POCIS-WAX and POCIS-HLB (p < 0.0001). Use of POCIS-WAX and POCIS-HLB in the DWTP showed good agreement with composite water sampling. No removal of PFASs was observed in the full-scale DWTP. Overall, this is the first study of PFAS monitoring in a DWTP using two types of POCIS. The results demonstrate high suitability for future applications.