The Honorable Glenn Butcher, Queensland (Australia) Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water, recently joined Geofabrics Australasia to launch SORBSEAL, a next-generation, hybrid geosynthetic clay liner (hGCL) specifically designed to trap per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and other harmful emerging contaminants.
Geofabrics Australasia is the proud recipient of funding from the Queensland government’s Made in QLD (MIQ) program, which helps small- and medium-sized manufacturers increase international competitiveness, productivity and innovation through the adoption of new technologies. With this support, Geofabrics Australasia has been able to enhance equipment and apply world best practice to making SORBSEAL.
SORBSEAL has multi-purpose use across a range of applications including base liners and capping of contaminated materials, ensuring that these harmful chemicals do not find their way into the environment.
“The launch of SORBSEAL demonstrates everything that is great about Made in Australia; local R&D and ingenuity, creating a solution to one of the world’s greatest emerging problems, PFAS contamination,” says Dennis Grech, Geofabrics CEO and managing director.
Geofabrics Australasia connects local R&D with product development that solves big environmental problems and provides customers with solutions that build Australia’s infrastructure in a responsible and sustainable way.
Daniel Gibbs, Geofabrics general manager for technical, research and innovation, says, “Unlike individual chemicals such as mercury, where human health effects with a certain exposure level and duration are reasonably well documented, contaminants of emerging concern such as PFAS present a much larger challenge for the human race. PFAS are a very large group of compounds, all containing at least one specific perfluoroalkyl moiety but each with a slightly different chemical signature, different half-lives in humans, different mobility in the environment and varying effects on the human body. PFAS compounds are still used in a wide variety of everyday household products that ultimately end up in a landfill. After initial studies on standard GCLs showed poor retention of a number of these compounds, we realized a change was required. This was the impetus for the development of SORBSEAL, a next-generation hybrid GCL that contains a very specific, high surface area activated carbon.”