Enviropacific Collaborates with University of Adelaide for DeFAS®

Enviropacific Collaborates with University of Adelaide for DeFAS®

Enviropacific is delighted to work with the University of Adelaide to enhance our DeFAS® technology, a product of extensive research and development.

Clifford Duckworth, Enviropacific’s Technology Developer and Cameron Shearer, Lead Researcher at the University of Adelaide, share their insightful findings on their research in optimizing DeFAS®.


Could you define DeFAS
®and its importance to the water industry?

Cliff: DeFAS® is a unique technology that separates PFAS from water, breaks down the chemical bonds that hold the compound together, while renewing the filter media to allow continued, sustainable treatment. We believe that our technology represents a significant step forward in the fight against PFAS contamination in a sustainable way.

As one of the listed inventors, Cameron, could you talk us through the inspiration behind developing this technology?

Cameron: I was excited by the opportunity to use my knowledge in surface chemistry to an issue which is negatively affecting environments throughout Australia and the world. PFAS is a manmade chemical and without our intervention it will remain in the environment for millions of years. Working with an industry partner gave me a direct route to have my research applied in the field to help reduce the impact of such a damaging chemical, which is very rewarding.

What have been some of the more interesting findings in your research?

Cliff: One of the most intriguing discoveries we’ve made so far is regarding the actual starting PFAS concentrations in spent media. Through our desorption methodology and comprehensive testing of PFAS in all streams, we’ve uncovered that initial concentrations bound to the media could be up to 10 times higher than those detected by laboratories. While we anticipated some impact from matrices, the extent of this discrepancy is surprising. Additionally, our trials with various solvents have yielded interesting results in terms of effectiveness.

What are the works you are completing now and where do you think this could assist the industry in the future?

Cameron: Our current research is bridging the gap between the proof-of-concept experiments and full-scale implementation. We are working on optimising each step, simplifying the process, and applying it to a range of field derived samples. We are trying to find and fix potential challenges in the lab before they are encountered in the field.

How does Enviropacific approach water treatment solutions for different industrial sites?

Cliff: When advising clients on water treatment, I emphasise the importance of assessing each scenario individually, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution. With this principle in mind, we have gathered spent carbon samples from various industrial sites, each with unique concentrations and co-contaminants like TPH, organics, nutrients, heavy metals, and PFAS. Then these samples undergo the three unique stages – filtration, regeneration and destruction.

What are some of the most pressing needs/concerns that clients or regulators may have when it comes to the treatment of PFAS? How has the collaboration with the University of Adelaide help address these concerns?

Cliff: Clients and regulators often inquire about the effectiveness of the treatment process for their specific site, the amount of solution/waste generated, the frequency of the process, its efficacy for short-chain PFAS, potential cost savings, and the impact of co-contamination on site performance.

Partnering with the University of Adelaide allows us to provide comprehensive answers to these complex questions, ensuring proven solutions for our clients while instilling confidence in regulators. This collaboration allows us to improve our process, moving from figuring out if it works commercially to making it as effective and cost-efficient as possible for a wider reach.

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Enviropacific is delighted to work with the University of Adelaide to enhance our DeFAS® technology, a product of extensive research and development.
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Enviropacific’s DeFAS® technology is the culmination of years of research and development, enabling us to provide our clients with a reliable and cost-effective solution for PFAS...