The objective of this Statement of Need (SON) was to develop analytical methods to provide repeatable and environmentally relevant measures of total per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in PFAS-free firefighting formulations to demonstrate that they do not contain PFAS at concentrations above 1 part per billion (ppb). The focus of this work should be for total PFAS in firefighting formulations that are compliant with draft military specification (MIL-SPEC) MIL-PRF-XX727 Performance Specification for Fire Extinguishing Agent, Fluorine-Free Foam (F3) Liquid Concentrate, for Land-Based, Fresh Water Application. Candidate formulations will be supplied by SERDP. Specific research needs include:
- Developing robust sample preparation procedures that are implementable in a production laboratory environment.
- Developing methods for accounting for or eliminating inorganic fluorine from total PFAS quantitation.
- Developing methods to reduce the impact of other constituents on total PFAS quantitation.
- Minimizing the potential for exclusion of PFAS, such as short-chain PFAS, from total PFAS quantitation.
- Validating the method in accordance with a validation study plan consisting of all elements require by the Department of Defense (DoD) Quality Systems Manual (DoD QSM) (latest version at the time of research initiation).
- Documenting the method in a format that is compatible with DoD QSM requirements and allows for easy implementation by production laboratories.
Funded projects will appear below as project overviews are posted to the website.
Addressing the research needs described above will permit analysis of firefighting formulations to demonstrate compliance with future revisions of draft MIL-PRF-XX727.
Fluorosurfactant-based formulations have been used since the 1970s to suppress fires. As new PFAS-free firefighting formulations are developed, it will be critical to be able to fully demonstrate that no significant levels of PFAS are present. The composition of such formulations inherently lead to interferences with currently available analytical methodologies. At this time, analytical methodologies to detect PFAS at 1 ppb or less in these new firefighting formulations do not exist. Development of analytical methods that are capable of measuring PFAS at such concentrations in firefighting formulations is a critical need for the DoD. MIL-SPEC MIL-PRF-XX727 will be published by January 31, 2023, and an analytical methodology developed under this SON may be incorporated into future revisions of the MIL-SPEC.
The cost and time to meet the requirements of this SON are at the discretion of the proposer; however, preference is for shorter-term proposals that develop a draft method within 12 months. The proposer should incorporate the appropriate time, schedule, and cost requirements to accomplish the scope of work proposed.