Searching for PFAS (perfluorooctanoic acid) in the Environment

PFAS are chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1950’s. They are in non-stick pans, special fabrics, carpets and even firefighting foams.  PFAS has leached into the environment and scientific  studies have shown PFAS in animals and humans all over the world. More research is needed to understand the harmful effects of PFAS. Michael Silvestry (Hope’25) is doing research using the Hope College Particle Accelerator to try to measure trace amounts of PFAS in environmental samples. As part of his work he is using a Lyophilizer (or in other words a freeze dryer) to concentrate the samples through sublimation.

Michael (Hope’25) inspects a frozen PFAS sample taken from a vacuum
oven attached to a Lyophilizer. Special thanks to Dr. Maria Hledin
(Hope College BioChemisty) for the use of her equipment and research
space.

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