Developing PIGE into a Rapid Field-Screening Test for PFAS

Highlights of SERDP- and ESTCP-Funded Projects
Oral Presentation

Prepared by J. Wilkinson1, G. Peaslee1, S. McGuinness1, B. Jurczyk2, T. Houlihan2
1 - University of Notre Dame, 225 Nieuwland Science Hall, Department of Physics, Notre Dame, Indiana, 46556, United States
2 - StarFire Industries, 2109 S Oak St,, Champaign, IL, 61820, United States

Contact Information:; 574-631-7554


The primary objective of this project is to take an established total fluorine method, Particle-Induced Gamma-ray Emission (PIGE) and develop it into a field-screening method for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Specifically, the project will develop the spectroscopic method of fluorine detection into a field-deployable technique that can rapidly screen ground and surface water for the presence of environmentally relevant concentrations of PFAS in the field. We will address the miniaturization of the accelerator system that can perform these measurements in the field, by collaborating with StarFire Industries to produce a robust portable system that can deliver protons to target. We have already developed the pre-concentration methods and better scintillation detection methods that will achieve sensitivity to PFAS down to current Health Advisory Limits. Finally, the project will determine the optimal beam energy for routine measurement of environmental samples ex vacuo, as well as the method detection limits (MDLs) to demonstrate feasibility of this approach with commercially available equipment.