Eternal Chemicals Project

Eternal Chemicals Project

A group of scientists has found a way to break down some of the so-called eternal chemicals. Thanks to this discovery, it will be possible to degrade perfluoroalkylated and polyfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs) using a mechanism that does not consume much energy.

Among ALO’s global projects, the development of techniques for the decomposition of everlasting chemicals will be promoted through the Antarctic Token.

Eternal chemicals appear in many water sources around the world. These substances are very harmful and cause various health problems, such as cancer, increased cholesterol, infertility and damage to the immune system. Until recently, scientists had been unable to break down PFAS molecules because they had very strong carbon-fluorine bonds. However, the group of U.S. researchers found a way to degrade these chemicals. All that is needed are inexpensive reagents that leave only harmless molecules behind.


A breakthrough in the fight against eternal chemicals

The scientists, led by William Dichtel of Northwestern University in Illinois, succeeded in breaking down 10 of the eternal chemicals. To achieve this, they targeted the oxygen atoms at the end of the PFAS molecules. This action causes the molecules to expel fluorine atoms that form fluoride. The researchers then found that the by-products remaining after the chemical reactions were harmless.

The contribution of this group of researchers has been very well received in the international scientific community. For some, the discovery was seen as proof that eternal chemicals compounds could degrade under certain conditions, something that had not been demonstrated before.

There are more than 12,000 variations of PFAS chemicals in the world. It is not possible to state at this time that the formula applied by the group of researchers to break down the 10 “timeless chemicals” can be applied to the rest. In any case, this important finding opens new hopes for decontaminating places with high chemical contamination.

Eternal Chemicals Project

Project sent by: Pedro Ruiz

Country: Venezuela

Request: sponsor investigation

Status: in evaluation