Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a series of man-made compounds that have been widely used since the 1950’s. Although they are commonly used in daily life, the toxicity of PFAS to humans should not be neglected. Due to their uniquely stable chemical structure (arising from the strong carbon-fluorine bond) and moderate solubility in aqueous solutions, problems of water contamination and bioaccumulation have arisen, attracting novel proposals for their efficient removal.In this work, self-assembled perfluoropolyether (PFPE)-based polymers and PFPE polymer coated nanoparticles were synthesized for efficient PFAS removal from contaminated aqueous systems. By grafting the fluorinated polymer on magnetic ferric oxide particle, flexible recovery of the absorbent after absorption of PFAS was obtained via magnetic separation. We hope to develop these fluorinated materials as novel absorbents and understand the PFAS removal criteria (e.g. structure, composition of the absorbent and binding affinity) between the absorbents and PFAS by the end of this project

Xiao achieved his bachelor degree in Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine in 2017, majoring in Pharmaceutical Science. Then he came to Australia and completed his masters’ study of Molecular Biology at the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2019. Now he just completed his first-year confirmation and is in his 2nd year of his PhD under supervision of Prof Andrew Whittaker, in Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN). His research focuses on developing novel devices for efficient PFAS removal from aqueous environments, including fluorinated polymer, crosslinked hydrogel and water permeable membrane.


PACE Building, 20 Cornwall Street, Woolloongabba
Interaction space (Room 4002)