Polyfluoroalkyl compounds in landfill leachates

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Polyfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) are widely used in industry and consumer products. These products could end up finally in landfills where their leachates are a potential source for PFCs into the aqueous environment. In this study, samples of untreated and treated leachate from 22 landfill sites in Germany were analysed for 43 PFCs. ΣPFC concentrations ranged from 31 to 12,819 ng/L in untreated leachate and 4-8060 ng/L in treated leachate. The dominating compounds in untreated leachate were perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA) (mean contribution 27%) and perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS) (24%). The discharge of PFCs into the aqueous environment depended on the cleaning treatment systems. Membrane treatments (reverse osmosis and nanofiltrations) and activated carbon released lower concentrations of PFCs into the environment than cleaning systems using wet air oxidation or only biological treatment. The mass flows of ∑PFCs into the aqueous environment ranged between 0.08 and 956 mg/day.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1467-1471
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 05.2010

    Research areas

  • Chemistry - Landfill, Leachate, PFCs, PFOA, PFOS