Clarkson University Ph.D. student Blossom Nzeribe Nwedo recently placed third in the 2019 Geosyntec Groundwater Student Paper Competition.
Geosyntec is an environmental consulting company who sponsors a student paper competition in conjunction with RemTech Summit, an environmental remediation technology conference for which Clarkson is a partner.
“My paper focused on determining lower-cost treatments for improving the life of Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) for the removal of Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in contaminated groundwater,” Nwedo said. “PFAS are a group of emerging contaminants with some of them currently regulated by some states in the US and other parts of the world, while the US EPA has issued health advisory levels for the two most common PFAS (PFOA and PFOS) detected in the environment.”
Nwedo explained that these compounds are found in drinking water, workplaces, and a wide range of consumer products ranging from food packaging and non-stick products to outdoor clothing and aqueous fire-fighting foams. They are persistent, have the potential to bioaccumulate and pose a potential risk to humans.
“I work with Dr. Michelle Crimi (Clarkson University Director of Engineering and Management) on developing treatment methods for the removal of PFAS in groundwater,” Nwedo said. “We are very excited that our work was selected as one of the winners in this year student paper competition. This means that our work here at Clarkson is recognized as one that will have an impact in the groundwater remediation field for the treatment of PFAS regarding lower cost treatment technologies."