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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Maricopa, Arizona » U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center » Water Management and Conservation Research » Research » Research Project #444359

Research Project: Multi-site Study of Soil, Sediments and Water for PFASs Analysis in North Carolina

Location: Water Management and Conservation Research

Project Number: 2020-13000-005-013-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 7, 2023
End Date: Aug 6, 2025

The data acquisition and extra materials (soils) collected from the multi-site study will bring a better understanding of water- soil – plant- food chain interactions, as well as efficiency of biochar use. Thus, leading to better decisions about how to protect public health while promoting agriculture. Therefore, the goal of this study is to characterize current concentration of Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) molecules in water and soil from 18 Research Stations at NC. Subsequently, to evaluate the potential for biochar use to reduce PFAS transfer from soil to plants. To attain this goal, the following three objectives will be addressed: 1. Investigate correlation between irrigation water, land use and PFAS contamination. 2. Assess interactions between PFAS and biochar in different soils and pH conditions. 3. Conduct regeneration studies to establish the potential of the biochar for soil remediation.

Once in the environment, several factors can impact PFAS availability, transport, accumulation, and transformation. Among them are clay content, pH, organic matter, microbial activity, and temperature. Similarly, biochar effect on soil, plant and microorganism is dependent on various aspects. In order to assess the contamination of PFAS in soil, water sediments and water for PFAS in NC, as well as risk reduction through biochar use; this project will be divided in 4 phases: 1. Samples of soil and water from a total of 18 Research Stations and 12 parks will be collected. PFAS molecules will be select according to their frequency of occurrence in environmental systems due to widespread usage. 2. The target compounds will be extracted from aqueous and solid samples according to 3rd Draft Method 1633- Analysis of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Aqueous, Solid, Biosolids, and Tissue Samples by LC-MS/MS. 3. Additional soil from 4 different stations will be collect for growth chamber experiments using different biochar. 4. Using the information gathered in phase 2 and 3, 4 locations (NC state) will be selected for field experiments testing 1 biochar.