Ion-Exchange Treatment of Perfluorinated Carboxylic Acids in Water: Comparison of Polystyrenic and Polyacrylic Resin Structures and Impact of Sulfate on Their Performance

M. Feisal Rahman*, William B. Anderson, Sigrid Peldszus, Peter M. Huck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The removal of three perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs)-PFHpA, PFOA, and PFNA-in ultrapure and river water was evaluated using two anion-exchange resins-previously unreported macroporous polystyrenic A-500P and a more widely studied macroporous polyacrylic A-860. Both resins had similar properties, allowing direct comparison of PFCA removal performance between the two resin structures/matrices. This study also presents a new gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) method developed for PFCA analysis in water. In ultrapure water, A-500P exhibited higher removal capacity and faster removal compared to A-860, suggesting greater effectiveness of the polystyrenic structure compared to the polyacrylic structure. In the Grand River water, the target PFCAs were well removed by A-500P but not A-860. However, both resins achieved similarly high overall reductions of dissolved organic carbon (∼75%), suggesting, later confirmed in ultrapure water experiments, that inorganic anions (sulfate particularly) were the dominant competitors for the A-860 resin. The uncharged styrenic and acrylic beads (base materials) of the two tested resins were unable to remove PFOA, implying that the dominant removal mechanism involves charge interactions between the negatively charged PFCA and the positively charged anion-exchange functional groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1195-1205
Number of pages11
JournalACS Environmental Science and Technology Water
Volume2
Issue number7
Early online date22 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2022

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