Many environmentally relevant poly-/perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) including perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) exist in different isomeric (branched and linear) forms in the natural environment. The isomeric distribution of PFASs in the environment and source waters is largely controlled by the source of contamination and varying physicochemical properties imparted by their structural differences. For example, branched isomers of PFOS are relatively more reactive and less sorptive compared to the linear analogue. As a result, the removal of branched and linear PFASs during water treatment can vary, and thus the isomeric distribution in source waters can influence the overall efficiency of the treatment process. In this paper, we highlight the need to consider the isomeric distribution of PFASs in contaminated matrices while designing appropriate remediation strategies. We additionally summarize the known occurrence and variation in the physicochemical properties of PFAS isomers influencing their detection, fate, toxicokinetics, and treatment efficiency.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry
- analytical bias
- PFAS isomers