Electrochemical remediation of perfluoroalkyl substances from water

Anaira Román Santiago, Paola Baldaguez Medina, Xiao Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Organic anthropogenic pollutants such as per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) present a severe threat to bodies of water and neighboring ecosystems, due to their toxicity and recalcitrance to current treatment methods. PFAS have highly stable carbon-fluorine bonds that contribute to the persistence of these compounds in the environment. Conventional separation methods based on membranes or adsorption materials can often be inefficient at targeting PFAS, or require significant energy or chemical consumption for regeneration. Electrochemical approaches offer a sustainable and potentially energy-efficient solution to PFAS capture and degradation, with rapid development of new electrode materials and electrochemically-driven processes for the separation and reaction of these compounds. Here, we review electrochemical approaches for PFAS removal and degradation, including electrosorption and electrochemical oxidation/reduction processes. In particular, we discuss investigations using porous carbon electrodes and functional polymers for PFAS electrosorption, as well as electrodes used for PFAS defluorination such as boron-doped diamond. Finally, we present a perspective on emerging topics in electrochemical PFAS remediation, such as the integration of electrochemical reaction and separations, and the urgent need for remediation studies of short-chain PFAS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number139635
JournalElectrochimica Acta
StatePublished - Jan 20 2022


  • Advanced oxidation
  • Electrochemical separations
  • Electrosorption
  • PFAS
  • Water remediation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Electrochemistry


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