Forever chemicals are difficult to destroy but researchers developed a new reactor. Forever chemical are those chemicals which are present in our everyday lives. These are difficult to break down or destroy hence they end up mixing up with water and soil or the food we eat and ultimately cause serious health problems. These chemicals can be found in various products like cookware, cosmetics, and many more. Forever chemicals are classified into two categories – PFOS and PFOA, by the Environmental Protection Agency of America.
By bifurcating these chemicals into two parts, it becomes easy to track them and clean them up. However, these forever chemicals is not an easy task. Therefore, researchers from University of Washington have found an effective way to destroy these chemicals without harming the environment. A reactor has been developed by the researchers at UW which breaks the entire forever chemical by using supercritical water.
A supercritical water is created at very high temperature and high pressure. The technology used in supercritical water is useful in treating the waste produced by industries, and in destroy the hard forever chemicals. The author of the research Igor Novosselov explained that the normal boiled water is different from the supercritical water.
While boiling water at home, the maximum temperature it could heat up to is approximately 100° C. But with the latest reactor, the water could heat up to more than 100° C. hence, when the water reaches to a critical point it becomes supercritical water. It is somewhat similar to plasma, where the water atoms become ionized in nature. Hence, the forever chemicals, which can survive the normal water, cannot survive this supercritical water and are easier to destroy them