Pengfei is a member of Dr. Cápiro's research group in CEE at Auburn University. He earned his B.S. & M.S. in the field of water & wastewater treatment at Hefei University of Technology (China). His research interests include the fate and transport of organic contaminants (e.g., PFAS and chlorinated solvents) in heterogenous environmental systems containing multiple phases (i.e., gas, liquid, and solid) and the associate interactions between contaminants transformation and response of microbial ecosystem.
Anaerobic biotransformation of 8:2 FTOH in soil from AFFF-impacted sites under nitrate-, sulfate-, and iron-reducing conditions
While aerobic biotransformation of 8:2 fluorotelomer-alcohol (8:2 FTOH) has been documented, this study reports for the first time 8:2 FTOH biotransformation under nitrate-, sulfate-, and iron-reducing conditions in an aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF)-impacted soil. Under nitrate-reducing conditions, 8:2 FTOH was biotransformed to 8:2 fluorotelomer carboxylic acid (0-0.2 mol%), 8:2 fluorotelomer ?,?-unsaturated carboxylic acid (3.5-8.0 mol%), 2H-pentadecafluoro-2-nonanol (10.7-17.5 mol%), and perfluorooctanoic acid (0.7-1.4 mol%) after 56 days. The biotransformation was accelerated approximately 2-fold by amending the soil with lactate. Non-targeted per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances analysis is underway to identify byproducts and delineate transformation pathways. In contrast, 8:2 FOTH biotransformation was much slower under sulfate-reducing condition, with <1.0 mol% of initial spiked 8:2 FTOH transformed by day 98. In addition, 8:2 FTOH biotransformation was not observed in iron-reducing microcosms after 98 days. These results demonstrate that the predominant electron acceptor present in natural environments plays an important role in 8:2 FTOH biotransformation.