ROCKLEDGE, FL — June 27, 2019 — Mainstream Engineering Corporation has been awarded a contract from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop an accurate, rapid, field-deployable sensor to determine the existence and concentration of fluorocarbons in ground water.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large family of man-made, globally-distributed chemicals. They include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). PFAS have been widely used in consumer products such as non-stick cookware, carpets and carpet treatment products, food packaging, aqueous firefighting foams, metal plating operations and in the defense, aerospace, automotive, construction, and electronics industries.
Once released into the environment, some PFAS are not easily broken down, which means people can be exposed to harmful PFAS that may have been manufactured months or even years in the past. Further exacerbating the problem is the fact that PFAS can travel long distances in either the air or the water, meaning that people may be exposed to PFAS many miles from their point of release. Human exposure can also occur through contact with products containing PFAS.
Surface water and groundwater are susceptible to contamination by PFAS release from manufacturing sites, industrial use, aircraft fire and emergency response training areas, and industrial or municipal waste sites where products are disposed of or applied.
To provide Americans with a margin of protection from a lifetime of exposure to PFOA and PFOS from drinking water, the EPA has established the health advisory levels at 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for combined PFOA/PFOS. https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/drinking-water-health-advisories-pfoa-and-pfos.
For these reasons, Mainstream Engineering is looking for both detection and treatment technologies. For this specific effort, Mainstream will be developing a technology that will detect PFAS in drinking water, groundwater, surface water and/or wastewater.
About Mainstream Engineering Corporation
Mainstream Engineering Corporation is a 33-year-old Brevard County, Florida manufacturer with a history of leading-edge research and development that has resulted in advanced cost-competitive products, which are made in the USA. Founded in 1986, Mainstream’s mission is to transition advanced R&D into high-quality, environmentally-safe, green, commercial products using lean manufacturing techniques. Areas of research include thermal control, energy conversion, power electronics, advanced sensors, biomass conversion, chemical technology and materials science.