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Critical Review on the Fate and Transport of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Subsurface Environments
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  • Dengjun Wang,
  • Xueyan Lyu,
  • Feng Xiao,
  • Chongyang Shen,
  • Jingjing Chen,
  • Chang Min Park,
  • Yuanyuan Sun,
  • Markus Flury
Dengjun Wang
Auburn University

Corresponding Author:wangdengjun1986@gmail.com

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Xueyan Lyu
Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology
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Feng Xiao
University of North Dakota
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Chongyang Shen
China Agricultural University
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Jingjing Chen
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
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Chang Min Park
Kyungpook National University
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Yuanyuan Sun
Nanjing University
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Markus Flury
Washington State University
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Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals”, are manmade chemicals that have been increasingly detected in various geological media since the early 2000s. The soil and subsurface environments are the geological media commonly affected by PFAS. We conducted a comprehensive review of peer-reviewed studies published from 2010 through 2021 concerning the fate and transport of PFAS in subsurface environments. This review is organized into different subsections, covering the basics of PFAS properties and how they affect the occurrence, fate, and transport of PFAS, the fundamental processes affecting subsurface transport and fate of PFAS, and mathematical models for describing and predicting PFAS transport behaviors. Mechanisms governing PFAS transport in the subsurface environment, including the sorption of PFAS at the air‒water interface, solid‒water interface, and nonaqueous phase liquids‒water interface, were explored in detail. Challenges and future research priorities are identified to better combat the global challenges of PFAS contamination.