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  • Design, Construction, and Testing of the PFAS Effluent Treatment System (PETS), a Mobile Ion Exchange–Based System for the Treatment of Per-, Poly-Fluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) Contaminated Water

    Abstract: Poly-,Per-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are versatile chemicals that were incorporated in a wide range of products. One of their most important use was in aqueous film-forming foams for fighting liquid fuel fires. PFAS compounds have recently been identified as potential environmental contaminants. In the United States there are hundreds of potential military sites with PFAS contamination.The ERDC designed and constructed a mobile treatment system to address small sites (250,000 gallons or less) and as a platform to field test new adsorptive media. The PFAS Effluent Treatment System (PETS) has cartridge filters to remove sediments and a granular activated carbon (GAC) media filter to remove organic compounds that might compete with PFAS in the ion exchange process, although it may also remove PFAS too. The last process is an ion exchange resin specifically designed to remove PFAS to a target level of 70 ng/L or less (equivalent to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Drinking Water Health Advisory). The system was tested at Hurlburt Field, a US Air Force facility in Florida and at Naval Support Activity (NSA) Mid-South in Millington, TN.
  • Expression and Secretion of Active Moringa oleifera Coagulant Protein in Bacillus subtilis

    Abstract: Cationic polypeptide proteins found in the seeds of the tropical plant Moringa oleifera have coagulation efficiencies similar to aluminum and ferric sulfates without their recalcitrant nature. Although these proteins possess great potential to augment or replace traditional coagulants in water treatment, harvesting active protein from seeds is laborious and not cost-effective. Here, we describe an alternative method to express and secrete active M. oleifera coagulant protein (MO) in Bacillus subtilis. A plasmid library containing the MO gene and 173 different types of secretory signal peptides was created and cloned into B. subtilis strain RIK1285. Fourteen of 440 clones screened were capable of secreting MO with yields ranging from 55 to 122 mg/L of growth medium. The coagulant activity of the highest MO secreting clone was evaluated when grown on Luria broth, and cell-free medium from the culture was shown to reduce turbidity in a buffered kaolin suspension by approximately 90% compared with controls without the MO gene. The clone was also capable of secreting active MO when grown on a defined synthetic wastewater supplemented with 0.5% tryptone. Cell-free medium from the strain harboring the MO gene demonstrated more than a 2-fold reduction in turbidity compared with controls. Additionally, no significant amount of MO was observed without the addition of the synthetic wastewater, suggesting that it served as a source of nutrients for the effective expression and translocation of MO into the medium.