The Defence Department has agreed to trial an experimental method for "cleaning" PFAS chemicals from contaminated aquifers.
The new treatment, developed by a global solar power company Photon Energy, uses electrical fields and a secret powder which is injected into the aquifer.
Defence is using two expensive water treatment plants at Tindal RAAF Base to try and clean PFAS from highly contaminated groundwater at the fire training areas.
That contaminated groundwater continues to collect in the Tindall Aquifer and flow directly under Katherine and empty into the Katherine River.
Defence has agreed to trial this new method at the Jervis Bay Range Facility within HMAS Creswell and Marine Park near Nowra in NSW.
Like Tindal, the Jervis Bay base was contaminated from fire fighting foams laced with PFAS used in training.
Tindal's clean up is using US-technology, the same used for Katherine's water treatment plant, which involves pumping the groundwater through a filter which has a resin capable of trapping it.
Once the resin is saturated with PFAS it is cleaned and re-used - the collected PFAS is taken away and destroyed.
Photon Water, an offshoot of Photon Energy, says with its invention it does not need to pump water around the aquifer.
It also says the in-situ PFAS removal "will not require any pumping, surface treatment or disposal processes".
The company says it is successfully the "proprietary nano-remediation applications" in other areas.
"The technology indicates an ability to break down PFAS within groundwater and involves patent-pending chemical programs, energy applications and control systems," the company says.
While the technique is kept secret with patents pending, it chiefly relies on the use of "zero-valent iron nanoparticles" and electricity.
"The removal of PFAS through in-situ treatment is globally unique, and we are very focused on working with the Department of Defence to demonstrate and verify this technology, support the community, and deliver an environmental and commercially successful solution," Photon Water Australia general manager Ian Phillips said.
"With this trial we aim to prove the effectiveness and benefits of in-situ nano-remediation to remove PFAS contamination from the environment."
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