The Need for Testing Isomer Profiles of Perfluoroalkyl Substances to Evaluate Treatment Processes

Kaushik Londhe, Cheng Shiuan Lee, Carrie A. McDonough, Arjun K. Venkatesan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15207-15219
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 15 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


  • PFAS isomers
  • analytical bias
  • destructive
  • sequestration
  • treatment


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