FILTRASORB® Granular Activated Carbon and Calgon Carbon’s equipment line are proven treatment solutions for PFAS removal

Calgon Carbon has offered the proven treatment solution for PFAS removal in both drinking water and remediation applications for over 15 years with our FILTRASORB granular activated carbon (GAC) and Equipment product lines. Calgon Carbon provides a complete solution including activated carbon, equipment, on-site installation and exchange services, reactivation, and financing.

CCC offers a full range of GAC adsorption equipment—a simple and effective solution that requires little operator involvement. Testing is important for system design and cost performance information.

Communities already using GAC to remove T&O or other contaminants from drinking water sources have been protected from PFAS.

We have a focused PFAS Team in place and are ready to respond immediately with technical services, equipment and carbon supply.


What are perfluorinated compounds (PFAS)?

  • Manmade fluorinated compounds which are not naturally found in the environment.
  • Are used in a variety of products such as fire fighting foams, coating additives as a surface-activeagent.
  • PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic acid) are the most commonly disucssed PFAS, but PFAS is a class with over 4,000 compounds.
  • Large amounts of PFAS have been produced during past manufacturing processes and released to the air, soil and water.


Why are PFAS harmful?

  • PFAS are persistent and mobile in the atmosphere and aqueous environments, due to their chemical stability and low volatility.
  • Animal toxicology studies indicate potential developmental, reproductive and systematic effects.
  • After oral exposure, PFAS accumulate and adsorb in the serum, kidney, and liver.
  • Resistant to direct oxidation, photolytic degradation, biodegradation and air stripping/ vapor extraction, making their removal difficult.


What is the EPA’s stance?

  • PFOS and PFOA are on the EPA’s Contaminant Candidate List 4 (CCL 4).
  • The EPA has taken steps to further investigate other PFAS and related chemicals as well as to reduce their emissions and use in products.


What is the solution?

  • Granular activated carbon (GAC) filters have been recognized as effective technologies for reducing PFAS compounds from water.
  • Incineration of any concentrated PFAS waste is required for complete destruction of these compounds. Spent activated carbon containing adsorbed species can be thermally reactivated, destroying the adsorbed contaminants and allowing the activated carbon to be recycled and reused.
  • Recent testing of Calgon Carbon type Filtrasorb 400 virgin GAC shows successful removal of many PFAS including:
    • Perfluorobutanoic Acid (PFBA)
    • Perfluoropentanoic Acid (PFPA)
    • Perfluorohexanoic Acid (PFHxA)
    • Perfluoroheptanoic Acid (PFHtA)
    • Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)
    • Perfluorodeconaoic Acid (PFDA)
    • GenX
  • The strong fluorine-carbon bond and low vapor pressure makes PFAS resistant to a number of conventional water treatment technologies, including direct oxidation, biodegradation, air stripping, vapor extraction and direct photolysis (UV).
  • Since each water source contains different combinations and levels of PFAS, as well as TOC, it is advised that a lab or pilot test (such as an Accelerated Column Test or ACT) be performed on a representative water sample to determine the adsorption zone needed, as well as the estimated carbon exhaustion rate to properly design an activated carbon adsorption system.


What can Calgon Carbon do for you?

  • Provide proven and cost effective solutions with activated carbon adsorption technology that cover a broad range of applications and system sizes.
  • Temporary and permanent GAC systems that can be rapidly deployed.
  • Our technical and engineering team can perform laboratory and field tests as needed, and tailor solutions for various application and customer needs. CCC has carbon reactivation sites globally that will thermally destroy the PFAS and enable the reuse of the activated carbon.


PFAS Reactivation Memo June 2020

View Fact Sheet PFAS Treatment for Point of Entry Treatment Systems


CCC FILTRASORB can remove typical levels of PFOA and PFOS to non-detect levels. Our studies show that reagglomerated, coal-based GAC performs significantly better than coconut for PFOA and PFOS removal. Even if local regulations require lower PFAS concentrations than the EPA health advisory, GAC is an effective solution.

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Short-Chain PFAS

Coal based GAC effectively removes short chains. Our reagglomerated bituminous coal-based product will remove an array of PFAS including both long- and short-chain compounds.

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Reagglomerated coal-based GAC effectively removes GenX to non-detect levels.

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