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The US Bureau of Reclamation is seeking to better understand the landscape of existing and emerging PFAS detection technologies. Rapid and highly sensitive tests are of the highest interest.


Per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) are commonly known as “forever chemicals” because of their inability to break down quickly or naturally. They have been used widely since the 1950’s, but technology to detect their presence in liquids is limited. Most methods rely on expensive and time-intensive lab tests. In order to assess if PFAS treatment methods are effective, researchers and other members of the water industry need a rapid, cost-effective, and accurate way to measure PFAS concentrations in water.


While this survey of technologies is inclusive of all existing and emerging methods, the following criteria are of the highest interest for Reclamation:

  • Rapid – tests that do not require several days/weeks at a lab
  • Sensitive – limit of detection in the range of proposed regulations (~4 ppt)
  • Versatile streams – able to accurately test for a range of types and quality of water, as well as liquids other than water
  • Accurate – open to solutions that provide qualitative and/or quantitative results (e.g. quick screening vs. precise concentration)
  • Cost-effective – Low-cost devices or low cost-per-test

All TRLs (technology readiness levels) and development stages are of interest.

Possible Solution Areas:

  • Analytical chemistry lab instruments
  • Portable test kits
  • Sensor-on-a-chip
  • Qualitative tests
  • Quantitative tests


Desired outcome of the solution:

Understand full range of existing and emerging PFAS detection technologies.


Relevant TechNeeds:



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