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MizzouForward Keynote - Destruction Technologies for Forever Chemicals (PFAS) Are Starting to Emerge


May 24th | 2:00p-3:00p

N204 Memorial Union or ZOOM


Join us for “Destruction Technologies for Forever Chemicals (PFAS) Are Starting to Emerge" a keynote presentation by Dr. Feng “Frank” Xiao, College of Engineering MizzouForward faculty candidate.  Dr. Xiao will present on his research for approximately 40-minutes with a 20-minute question and answer session to follow.


Dr. Feng “Frank” Xiao is an Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering at the University of North Dakota and the Associate Director of the Sustainable Infrastructure Research Institute. Dr. Xiao is internationally known for his innovative research in pyrogenic carbonaceous materials and water purification, particularly on issues involving per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). He is a leading figure in the emerging field of thermal decomposition of PFAS. Dr. Xiao is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the EPA STAR Early Career Award, National Science Foundation CAREER Award, Dean’s Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching, Research, and Service, UND Foundation/McDermott Faculty Award for Excellence in Research and/or Creative Activity, and Environmental Science & Technology Letters ‘Excellence in Review’ Award. He is an Associate Editor of Journal of Environmental Engineering (American Society of Civil Engineers, ASCE) and an Editor of Journal of Hazardous Materials.


PFAS, also known as ‘forever chemicals’, are synthetic organic chemicals that have been mass-produced since the 1960s and used as ingredients in a wide range of consumer and industrial products, including cosmetics, cleaners, stain-resistant carpets, coatings, nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, baking papers, fast food wrappers, pharmaceutical packaging, and firefighting foams. Once released to the environment, PFAS can bioaccumulate and biomagnify through food webs. As a matter of fact, these chemicals have been detected in >95% of the blood samples collected during multiple U.S. national surveys at health-relevant concentrations associated with thyroid disease, hyperuricemia, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders in children, and immunotoxicity. The United States and the European Union have started the process of regulating PFAS in drinking water. However, due to the high stability of C‒F bonds in PFAS, these compounds are extremely refractory to degradation by conventional water/solid treatment technologies. In this presentation, Dr. Xiao will introduce his groundbreaking approach for achieving complete PFAS degradation. The presentation builds on the recent work of Dr. Xiao’s research group on water purification and environmental restoration and includes new areas for future research.


You can access Dr. Xiao’s CV via OneDrive here:


​pdf icon Feng Xiao_Curriculum Vitae_April 2022.pdf (University log in required to access)


After the keynote, please provide candidate feedback with our brief survey.

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