PFAS

Greener Solutions 2020: PFAS in Aftermarket Carpet Treatments

The aftermarket carpet treatment team presented PFAS alternatives for aftermarket stain repellant treatments. Their proposed solutions included natural waxes and oils, biopolymers, and silicon-based materials, including silicon dioxide nanoparticles and silicon-containing small molecules and polymers. The team identified chitosan and cellulose nanocrystal as candidates for a biopolymer approach. The team noted the potential to combine multiple strategies to achieve optimal performance metrics....

Greener Solutions 2020: PFAS removal for carpet recycling

The carpet recycling group presented innovative strategies to remove PFAS from carpet face fiber fluff during recycling. The team provided strategies with a range of timescales to implementation. The first strategy involved using base hydrolysis and granular activated carbon (GAC) adsorption to remove but not destroy PFAS. The second strategy built on the first, but proposed using reverse osmosis and plasma treatment to destroy the PFAS. The third strategy proposed the use of esterase (specifically pig liver esterase) as an alternative to using sodium hydroxide in the other...

Greener Solutions 2020: PFAS-free home product packaging

The product packaging researchers identified biopolymer films for product packaging for a range of Method Home products, including laundry powders, detergents, and soaps, with a range of moisture barrier needs. The team came up with strategies that fell into three categories: Biopolymer films derived from natural sources, including chitosan, pectin, and gelatin; chemical additive cross-linking film to improve barrier and mechanical properties, including with genipin and ferulic acid; and physical additive nanofillers to reinforce film’s barrier and mechanical properties,...

Greener Solutions 2017: Durable water repellency with WLGore

This interdiscipilinary team investigated alternatives to perfluorinated compounds for DWR (durable water repellency) in outdoor clothing. The Gore team was challenged to create a high-performance fabric treatment that could resist both water and oils. They recommended silica nanosols and blow spinning as the two most promising solutions; these reported the best hydrophobicity, potential for oleophobicity, and application to textiles.

A silica nanosol coating provides hierarchical structuring through silica nanoparticles that bond with the...

Greener Solutions 2021: PFAS in Floor Polishes

This team examined potential alternatives to PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in floor polish, in response to recent legislation in Maine requiring the removal of PFAS from “avoidable” use in products sold in the state by 2030. Floor polish is under consideration as one possible product category since nearly every floor polish on the market contains PFAS. The team proposed two biosurfactants as potential alternatives to PFAS in floor polish: rhamnolipids and amino acid surfactants, specifically sodium lauroyl glutamate....

Greener Solutions 2020: PFAS-Free Compostable Food Packaging

The food packaging team identified alternatives to fluoropolymer mixtures in molded fiber such as rhamnolipids and pectin added to the existing paper system and nanocellulose and lignin sourced from within the paper system. The team thought creatively to identify how materials that would normally be wasted in the existing paper production system could be reused.

Final Presentation...