Packing up PFAS addresses a type of pollution that many people don’t even know exists: per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Since the 1950s, these so-called ‘forever chemicals’ have been used to manufacture everything from non-stick pans to umbrellas. Designer Emy Bensdorp leapt into action when she learned that harmful PFAS could be traced in up to 90% of Dutch soil and humans! PFAS are linked to various deceases and health complaints but we do not have a suitable or sustainable cleaning method yet.
With Packing Up PFAS, she offers a unique clean-up solution whereby polluted clay is transformed into colourful bricks. By heating the polluted (clay) soil up to the range of 900C-1200C, the PFAS chemicals are destroyed while a ceramic material is created. This material can take many shapes like tableware, (roof)tiles or bricks. Especially bricks are interesting since they are produced in bulk and can be used as a local building material.
As proof of concept, three polluted clay soils where successfully transformed into clean bricks and all that remains of its dirty past is the stamp that states the location of origin and amount of PFAS removed. Learn more at: claybens.nl