Further testing of Sparc Technologies’ (ASX: SPN) graphene-based absorption materials has demonstrated what the company describes as “consistently higher performance” than a current industry leading activated carbon treatment for contaminated water.
The test work was carried out on Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) using the company’s proprietary Polyamine-modified reduced graphene oxide adsorbent.
It follows from previous tests that generated similar results where the use of Sparc graphene improved the absorption of PFAS contaminants by up to 100% compared to granulated activated carbon.
The testing was undertaken in water contaminated with PFAS including the most common PFAS compounds perfluorooctanesulfonic acid and perfluorooctanoic acid.
In the latest evaluation, Sparc found its graphene-based adsorbent again performed better than an industry leading activated carbon treatment for all tested PFAS materials.
The results were described as “very similar” to the previous test.
Sparc chief executive officer Mike Bartels said the repeatability of the results was a “significant step” for the company as it moves towards commercialisation.
“This is a substantial milestone in demonstrating the effectiveness of graphene in the field,” he added.
PFAS adsorption global issue
Sparc pointed out that PFAS adsorption and immobilisation remained a significant global issue.
PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that contaminate air, soil and water. They do not break down and therefore can remain in the environment causing harm.
Many large sites worldwide are subject to PFAS contamination and there aren’t any viable remedial solutions.
“Without remediation, PFAS will persist in the natural environment and can cause significant human and animal health issues, where it has been shown to cause reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney, and immunological effects,” Sparc explained.
Advancing graphene enhanced adsorbent
Sparc’s graphene enhanced adsorbent was developed with the company’s strategic partner the University of Adelaide.
The company will now begin further testing of its material on remediation of PFAS contaminated water and immobilisation of PFAS in soil samples.
Additionally, Sparc has begun discussions with remediation companies and organisations with PFAS issues with the goal of jointly developing graphene-based solutions for removing PFAS contaminants.