PhytoRem - Phytoremediation of PFAS contaminated soil and groundwater

Last changed: 02 November 2021
Silver birch with maple tap. Photo.

This project aims at developing a phytoremediation technique for the removal of PFASs in soil and groundwater.

Phytoremediation takes advantage of the ability of plants to concentrate compounds from the environment. It is a cost-effective method of environmental remediation that is being used to clean up contaminants (e.g. metals, pesticides, solvents) in projects worldwide.

Our concept is to investigate and optimize the performance of those plants that are particularly well suited to phytoremediating PFASs in Sweden. We will quantify the uptake of PFASs in various plants that are already growing on contaminated areas and correlate uptake to parameters such as age of the plant, soil chemistry, root microbiology and depth to groundwater.

We will manipulate and optimize PFAS extraction via plants in field trials through i) artificial irrigation with PFAS spiked water, ii) fertilizer addition and iii) impact of microflora at the root zone (where growth occurs).

The final stage of the project, will evaluate the effectiveness of degradation of PFASs by incineration of plants materials containing PFASs.


Swedish Geotechnical Institute (SGI) is funding this project through the Tuffo program.


SLU: Lutz Ahrens, Winnie Nasazzi 
Tyréns: Jeff Lewis
Örebro University: Jana Jass