25 October 2019

ARC staff, along with colleagues from the Department of Defence and the Department of the Environment and Energy have undertaken a series of visits to the PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) Remediation Research Program (Round 1) grant holders. The visits presented the opportunity for staff and representatives from the wider government to engage directly with the researchers, and to tour the teams’ experimental facilities.

This Special Research Initiative aims to facilitate the development of innovative technologies to investigate and remediate PFAS contaminated media, including soil and other solid contaminated debris, groundwater, waterways and marine systems. It is part of a national program led by the Department of Defence to investigate and respond to the impacts of PFAS contamination.

Visits were made to The University of Queensland, The University of Newcastle, The University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Deakin University. The visits highlighted impressive cross-collaboration across ARC grant recipients and emerging strong working relationships between researchers and industry collaborators.

The ARC will be visiting the last PFAS (Round 1) project led by Professor Robert Niven at UNSW’s Canberra campus in the coming months.

It was pleasing to see that emerging from this research are not only novel and efficient ways to remove PFAS from the environment, but also some truly innovative methods which recycle the outputs of the remediation process to create a useful and valuable end-product. We are excited to see the outcomes of this world-leading research in addressing an international challenge.

Image: Photo taken by Prof Jochen Mueller, Lead Chief Investigator for PFAS project SR180100005 outside the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences. Left to Right is Karl Bowles (Defence), Nicola Powell (Department of the Environment and Energy/PFAS Taskforce), Liz Visher, David Alemeida, Leanne Giannini, Mark Bauer (Department of Defence), Robert Mun, Kirsten Lawrie (University of Queensland (UQ) Research Office), Dr Jennifer Braunig (UQ, Chief Investigator on SR180100005), and Dr Craig Barnes (Airservices Australia, Partner Investigator on SR180100005).
Credit: Prof Jochen Mueller.