Treatment of PFAS-Contaminated Water

ECT2 is committed to innovation and has worked closely with manufacturers to produce unique ion-exchange resins, which are up to 20 times more efficient in the treatment of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) than granulated activated carbon (GAC). ECT2 has treated billions of litres of PFAS-contaminated water to concentrations below drinking-water standards, with treatment solutions that are more sustainable and cost-effective than competing technologies.

The Ubiquitous
PFAS Family

PFAS are a very large group of synthetic chemicals that include PFOA, PFOS, GenX chemicals, and potentially more than 4000 other compounds that have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries worldwide since the 1940s. PFAS are found in a wide array of consumer products and industrial processes, including firefighting foams, chemical processing, building/construction, aerospace, electronics, semiconductor and automotive industries, stain- and water-resistant coatings, food packaging, and waxes and cleaners. Due to their strong carbon–fluorine bonds, many PFAS can be very persistent in the environment with degradation periods of years, decades, or longer. Most people have been exposed to these molecules, and there is evidence that continued exposure to certain PFAS above specific levels may lead to adverse health effects, such as developmental effects, cancer, liver effects, immune effects, and thyroid effects. As a result, the characterisation, regulation, and remediation of PFAS has become a primary focus of regulatory bodies around the world.

13× More Effective
Water Treatment

ECT2’s SORBIX™ PURE single-use ion-exchange resins provide advantages over other approaches, such as GAC and reverse osmosis filtration, in the removal of PFAS from water. These synthetic resins, composed of a neutral, hydrophobic backbone, divinylbenzene cross-links, and positively charged exchange sites, are essentially adsorbents with ion-exchange functionality. The hydrophobic carbon–fluorine tail of a typical PFAS molecule adsorbs to the resin’s hydrophobic backbone and cross-links, and the negatively charged head of the PFAS molecule is attracted to the resin’s positively charged ion-exchange site. This combination of adsorption and ion exchange produces a PFAS removal capacity that is 13 times more effective than other technologies. SORBIX PURE is the most efficient technology on the market for removing PFAS compounds, including short chain molecules.

80+% Less
Waste Generation

SORBIX™ RePURE is a patented technology, enabled by a proprietary specialty regenerant solution, that allows PFAS-saturated resin to be regenerated onsite and reused. Following regeneration of SORBIX RePURE, the PFAS-laden regenerant solution is processed through ECT2’s distillation and SuperLoading™ process, reducing waste generation by orders of magnitude. SORBIX RePURE has approximately 10 times the capacity of GAC and is best suited to applications where resin replacement would lead to high operating expenses, such as long-term installations, source-area remediation wells, high-concentration spillage or discharge, or complex waters, or where management of short-chain or precursor PFAS is important.

67% Reduction in
Treatment System Size

The SORBIX resin’s superior PFAS-binding capacity in combination with the rapid kinetics of the binding reaction, leads to longer run times between media changeouts and corresponds to treatment system sizes that are significantly less than those of carbon, foam fractionation, and ozone fractionation treatment systems.

50% Reduction in
Life-Cycle Costs

Twenty-Year Present Worth Analysis (USD)

1200 GPM Drinking Water Treatment Plant


Treatment Option

Capital Cost

Annual Operating Cost

Present Worth Cost

Cost Reduction

GAC $2,140,000 $304,000 $6,271,000
Resin $1,090,500 $99,300 $3,173,000 50%

Reduced system size requirements, longer run times between media changeouts, lower energy use, and reduced waste generation all contribute to lower capital outlays and annual operating expenses for our treatment systems, with twenty-year present worth analysis in third-party feasibility studies revealing that SORBIX treatment systems can reduce life-cycle costs by 50% compared with competing technologies.

Diverse Standard & Custom Systems

With applications in groundwater, drinking water, surface water, wastewater, construction dewatering, and IDW, ECT2 offers a range of treatment systems, including mobile treatment systems for short-term water treatment activities, modular systems for fast turnkey installation and quick start-up projects, and custom-designed systems to meet client-specific needs, including supplementing, upgrading or replacing existing carbon-based treatment systems, supplemental treatment for existing facilities where PFAS is not currently being treated, and bespoke treatment systems to meet site-specific requirements.

Pilot PS Series
SORBIX™ L Series
SORBIX™ H Series
SORBIX™ M Series
SORBIX™ T Series
SORBIX™ R Series

Case Studies:

RAAF Base Tindal, NT Australia

Treatment Objective > (0.07 ug/L PFOS + PFHxS) (0.56 ug/L PFOA) Waste Generated 37m3 Volume Treated To Date >2.5 billion litres Treatment Outcome Achieved [...]