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PFAS Air Emissions Testing Methodology for US EPA


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) selected TRC to assist in the development of scientifically valid data for the measurement of PFAS air emissions. TRC’s tasks were to: (1) assist EPA with the development of PFAS air emissions test methods; (2) perform an evaluation of PFAS emissions and the emission control effectiveness using an incineration emission control device; and (3) perform basic combustion research on the destruction of PFAS and the breakdown products formed at high temperatures. In order to promulgate air emission control standards for PFAS, this detailed information is necessary and aligned with EPA’s high priority of regulating PFAS emissions.

While TRC has extensive experience with emission testing for low-level contaminants, project staff were presented with a new challenge to conduct experimental PFAS test methods. TRC experts were tasked with developing procedures and procuring equipment for these new, specialized testing methods within a short period of time. These testing methods included the evaluation and considerations to accurately measure the PFAS air emissions before entering the incineration control device and the measurement and evaluation of resulting PFAS emissions and reaction products after exiting the incineration control device. TRC also evaluated the use of Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) as a tool to verify PFAS destruction from incineration control devices.


TRC leveraged the national expertise and resources across our emissions testing group to:

  • Plan, conduct and evaluate the results of a detailed PFAS air emissions test at the host facility
  • Perform three different PFAS test methods at the inlet and outlet of the scrubber control device following the incinerator
  • Assist EPA in planning, conducting and analyzing the FTIR data from PFAS incineration in a pilot scale burner


The test project results were compiled in a 20,000 page report encompassing 62 data tables reflecting the measurement of 74 distinct PFAS compounds. This rigorous data, formatted in various ways to facilitate EPA’s assessment, fully support EPA in its mission to develop and evaluate PFAS air emission test methods, while also providing valuable information about PFAS emissions prior to and exiting from a sewage sludge incinerator.

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