team photo

Figure 1
project photo

Team 22

Team Members

Faculty Advisor

Sylvia Rathmell
William Gasparrini
Kenneth Klarer

Kristina Wagstrom

sponsored by
Connecticut Department of Public Health

Designing an Automated Solid-Phase Extraction Method to Prepare Samples for PFAS Testing

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of toxins that have been linked to many illnesses and detected in major water supplies. Due to their strong carbon-fluorine bonds, they do not naturally degrade which causes them to accumulate in the environment. It takes 6-8 weeks on average for environmental laboratories to test for PFAS. This lengthy turnaround time is in part due to the labor intensive process to manually prepare the samples, which endangers communities with unknown levels of PFAS ingestion. The goal of this project is to increase the number of water samples that environmental laboratories can test per day by automating the solid phase extraction (SPE). Based on our extensive research and evaluation of the potential approaches, the instrument and approach we recommend is both economical and efficient in completing the SPE. The implementation of this instrument and approach will improve the speed at which environmental laboratories can test for PFAS, consequently enabling communities to address toxic water supplies faster.