Faculty Advisor

Bergendahl, John Andrew

Faculty Advisor

Kazantzis, Nikolaos K.


The objective of this project was to evaluate the removal of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) from water through various oxidation and adsorption treatment methods. PFOA is a fluorosurfactant and is found in many firefighting foams. Treatment by chemical oxidation was performed with dichromate, calcium hypochlorite, sodium persulfate, potassium permanganate, potassium ferrate, and UV light. Adsorption with granular activated carbon and zeolites was also attempted. None of the oxidation methods presented coherent results due to strong interference of the oxidant with the PFOA solution. Nonetheless, adsorption proved to be a successful and promising technique for removing PFOA from water as compared to oxidation techniques.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2012


Chemical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor Department

Chemical Engineering