374Water (NASDAQ:SCWO), a social impact, cleantech company, announced that the National Defense Center for Energy & Environment (NDCEE), established to help transition technology solutions and meet sustainability goals in support of the Department of Defense (DoD), awarded the US Navy and 374Water a contract to demonstrate 374Water's supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) technology ("AirSCWO") at a U.S. Naval installation.
This project is part of a broader initiative by the DoD to identify viable PFAS destruction solutions for deployment on military bases. The effectiveness of AirSCWO™ to destroy PFAS has been demonstrated on PFAS laden granular activated carbon and ion exchange resins, lime-stabilized sludges and Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF). Test results demonstrated AirSCWO effectively destroys PFAS while producing recoverable energy, water, and minerals.
This NDCEE project will validate the efficacy of AirSCWO to destroy per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in spent sorption media and ion exchange resins. Spent media and resins are generated during the treatment of PFAS impacted water. High amounts of PFAS have been detected in the ground water underlying hundreds of U.S. military bases. Much of the PFAS detected is due to the decades-long use of AFFF for fire suppression and firefighting training.
"374Water is eager to work with the NDCEE as they collectively seek out sustainable environmental solutions for remediation efforts at scale," said Howard Teicher, Senior Director, Government Affairs at 374Water. "With the DoD citing PFAS investigation and cleanup costs of $1.1B through 2020 and plans to obligate an additional $2.1B after 2022, technologies like AirSCWO will enable the DoD to continue to operate without harming service personnel or the environment."
Recent action has been taken to mitigate environmental concerns associated with PFAS through conventional treatment and disposal methods such as incinerators and landfills. The 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) prohibits the incineration of PFAS waste from DoD installations after April 26, 2022. The EPA has also proposed designating two of the most common PFAS compounds, PFOS and PFOA, as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).
Complete destruction of PFAS could also provide government agencies with significant cost savings when compared to the cost of shipping and storing PFAS once removed from impacted soils and groundwater. By destroying PFAS at military bases, AirSCWO will also remove the threat these substances pose to personnel, their families and surrounding communities.