Science

PFAS: Biotech firm electrocutes soil so bacteria can eat

Fixed Earth is attempting to remove PFAS “forever chemicals” from soil at a test site in Wisconsin by filling it with chemical-eating bacteria and electrocuting the ground

Environment



12 July 2022

Heavy machinery removes soil that is laced with pollutant chemicals for disposal

Soil laced with contaminating chemicals, like at this site in Utah, can require significant clean-up efforts

Eric R. Hinson/Getty Images

A biotech firm is trialling the removal of PFAS “forever chemicals” from soil at a test site in Wisconsin by injecting chemical-eating bacteria and electrocuting the ground.

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a class of thousands of different synthetic chemicals that contain carbon and fluorine atoms linked by strong bonds. The chemicals – which repel grease and water – have been in widespread use since the 1940s in everything from firefighting foam at airports …


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