Reductive defluorination of perfluorooctane sulfonate

Valeria Ochoa-Herrera, Reyes Sierra-Alvarez, Arpad Somogyi, Neil E. Jacobsen, Vicki H. Wysocki, Jim A. Field

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is under increased scrutiny as an environmental pollutant due to recent reports of its worldwide distribution, environmental persistence, and bioaccumulation potential. The susceptibility of technical PFOS and PFOS branched isomers to chemical reductive dehalogenation with vitamin B 12 (260 μ.M) as catalyst and Ti(lll)-citrate (36 mM) as bulk reductant in anoxic aqueous solution at 70 °C and pH 9 was evaluated in this study. Defluorination was confirmed by fluoride release measurements of 18% in technical PFOS, equivalent to the removal 3 mol F -/mol PFOS, and 71% in PFOS branched isomers equivalent to the removal of 12 mol F -/mol PFOS. Degradation of PFOS was further confirmed by monitoring the disappearance of PFOS compounds with reaction time by suppressed conductivity ion chromatography, LC-MS/MS, and 19F NMR studies. The PFOS compounds differed in their susceptibility to reductive degradation by vitamin B 12/Ti(lll) citrate. Chromatographic peaks corresponding to branched PFOS isomers disappeared whereas the peak corresponding to linear PFOS was stable. To our knowledge this is the first report of reductive dehalogenation of PFOS catalyzed by a biomolecule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3260-3264
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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