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Francisco Barajas
Francisco Barajas

Treatability Laboratory Manager

Dr. Barajas has ten years of professional and research experience in remediation of organic contaminants. He is currently an environmental engineer and laboratory manager at AECOM in Austin, Texas, and has been conducting treatability studies on the remediation of PFAS, 1,4-dioxane, chlorinated solvents and other contaminants. Most of his studies involve mechanisms based on biological and physico-chemical processes such as reductive dechlorination, aerobic cometabolism, chemical oxidation/reduction, electrochemical oxidation, adsorption, and solidification/stabilization. These bench-scale studies cover applications such as treatment of PFAS-contaminated water, biodegradation of 1,4-dioxane and chlorinated ethenes, reclamation of mine tailings waste, wastewater treatment operations (activated sludge, aerobic digestion, denitrification, etc.), among others. In addition, his research experience covers experiments on the kinetics of suspended microbial cultures, modeling of aerobic metabolism and cometabolism of 1,4-dioxane, and subsurface remediation simulations. Dr. Barajas holds a doctorate degree in Environmental Engineering from Clemson University and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering.


Bench-Scale Study to Evaluate the Use of Adsorptive Media in a Permeable Barrier to Remove PFAS from Landfill Groundwater

Groundwater at landfill sites impacted with PFAS compounds may pose a health risk. Containment of PFAS migration away from the site is one measure taken to mitigate such risk. In this study, bench-scale laboratory experiments were set up to demonstrate the effectiveness of materials such as natural soil, wood shavings, and biochar used in a permeable barrier for removing PFAS from groundwater, as well as to optimize the composition of the media used. The experimental approach was conducted in two separate phases which included batch and flow-through experiments. The results will provide valuable insights on the use of certain materials to improve the removal of PFAS when using permeable barriers, how those barriers can be designed based on the media recipe, and provide information about the adsorptive capacities of such media.

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