Applied PFAS Forensic Techniques: Fundamentals and Case Studies
Dr. Dylan Eberle, Scientist, Geosyntec Consultants
Although per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are ubiquitous, used in a wide range of products and applications, some are strongly linked to specific production processes and/or sources and may be used to infer ages, sources, and mechanisms of releases. The objective of PFAS forensic analyses is to develop and compare the signatures of samples collected at a site to determine if the detected PFAS likely originated from a single source or multiple sources, on-site or off-site sources, and/or are representative of ambient anthropogenic background. Forensics tools currently used for PFAS fingerprinting include indicator compounds, composition analysis, and isomeric profiles. This presentation will briefly cover the fundamentals of PFAS forensics and then highlight how Geosyntec is currently using these techniques to evaluate PFAS sites throughout the US, including examples based on real world sites.
Dr. Eberle is a scientist with expertise in site characterization, emerging contaminants, litigation support, and innovative remediation technologies. He has experience with the characterization and remediation of soil and groundwater contaminated with both priority pollutants and emerging contaminants. His work with emerging contaminants includes working on sites impacted by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and 1,4-dioxane, along with lead authorship on publications in Chemosphere and Environmental Science and Technology. Dr. Eberle’s PFAS experience has included leading site investigations, development and evaluation of conceptual site models, forensics, litigation support, risk assessment, and research into destructive remediation technologies. Dr. Eberle has helped develop standard operating procedures for PFAS sampling and has led field investigations at military bases, airports, and manufacturing facilities. He has expertise with PFAS signatures and release mechanisms associated with a wide range of settings including airports, military installations, fire training areas, industrial facilities, landfills, and wastewater treatment plants. He is experienced with PFAS forensic techniques and has performed “fingerprint” analyses to evaluate if PFAS detections are representative of a single source or multiple sources.