Two Newcastle studies chosen for national PFAS research program

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Senior deputy vice chancellor Kevin Hall said the inclusion of two Newcastle studies in the program was testament to the “exceptional quality of research” at the University of Newcastle.Two Newcastle-based studies that will investigate how to treat contamination fromthe notorious substance PFAS have attracted $1.5 million in federal funding.
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The studies, both led by experts from the University of Newcastle, were among nine selected to be part of the Australian Research Council’s PFAS Remediation Research Program.

A project investigatingpossible ways to use heat to transformPFAS-contaminated material into a more manageable substance, led by Professor Eric Kennedy, was awarded $940,000, while $650,000 was earmarked for Professor Megh Mallavarapu’s study into howto bestremediate sites affected by PFAS-contaminated biosolids, particularly in agriculture.

Read more: EPA confirms high level of PFAS recorded at Maitland

“The project will focus on the catalytic destruction of PFAS reactions at elevated temperatures, where we hypothesise that we can transform PFAS in a controlled and predictable way into benign products,” Professor Kennedy said.

Studies fromDeakin University, the University of Queensland and the University of NSW were also selected for the program.

Read more: Fresh foam fears: Defence looks for PFAS at Salt Ash

Senior deputy vice chancellor Kevin Hall said theinclusion oftwo Newcastle studies in the program was testament to the“exceptional quality of research” at the University of Newcastle.

“The funding will allow our researchers to continue investigating some of the critical challenges facing our world, and seeking the solutions which will make a real difference to our environment and to people’s lives,” he said.

It comes after the Department of Defence told residents in the Salt Ash areait planned to investigate possible PFAS contamination at another of its Port Stephens sites–Salt Ash Air Weapons Range–less than 10km from the Williamtown RAAF base.

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