Perth-based Sparc Technologies (ASX: SPN) has entered into an agreement with Australian environmental remediation company JBS&G to allow for the testing of its proprietary functionalised graphene for the adsorption of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in real-life settings.
The joint project will involve the development of a pilot plant from contaminated water via graphene filtration to be located at a site where JBS&G is undertaking remediation.
Testing of functionalised graphene for the adsorption and immobilisation of PFAS in soil will be conducted as a separate project.
PFAS contamination, leaching and mobility remain significant global issues with many large sites around the world subject to substantial PFAS contamination.
Without remediation, the chemicals will persist and migrate within the natural environment and potentially result in human and animal health issues relating to reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney and immunological capabilities.
Sparc managing chief executive officer Mike Bartels said the partnership will take the company’s technology and apply it to real-life cases.
“It is very rewarding to be transitioning from the laboratory to the field where we will look to further develop and optimise our proprietary functionalised graphene adsorbent,” he said.
“This agreement is a significant milestone which sets us on the path to undertake feasibility work and commercialise our products.”
PFAS is a group of man-made chemicals which have been available since the 1940s and historically used in applications such as non-stick cookware, fabric, furniture and cosmetics and food packaging.
They are also present in aqueous film forming foam – a firefighting foam extensively used worldwide.
A growing number of sites worldwide have elevated PFAS concentrations which transmit to soils and drinking water, prompting immediate remediation and mitigation response efforts.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Australian government have conducted extensive studies on the environmental and health effects of PFAS and have found its impact to be widespread.