Michael Wong – Palladium-based catalysts for breaking down fluorine-containing forever chemicals


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of persistent, pervasive, bioaccumulative, and toxic anthropogenic contaminants, numbering over 4000 compounds. Disposal of PFAS-containing products, the discharge of industrial wastewater, and the use of aqueous film forming foams in firefighting have resulted in widespread PFAS contamination of water resources and in detectable concentrations in human serum and tissue. Palladium and its bimetallic versions are excellent for the catalytic hydrodechlorination of chlorinated compounds – how do they fare for the catalytic hydrodefluorination of PFAS? I describe the recent developments in our understanding of this chemistry and the implications for PFAS treatment technologies (Environ. Sci. Technol. 2021, 55, 14836; Environ. Sci. Technol. 2021, 55, 16699). 

Slide deck: Michael Wong_JM PGM 2023a


Dr. Michael S. Wong is Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Rice University (USA). He holds the Tina and Sunit Patel Chair in Molecular Nanotechnology. He is the principal investigator of the Catalysis and Nanomaterials Laboratory which tackles technical energy and sustainability issues through chemical engineering and materials chemistry approaches. He is Research Thrust Leader in the NSF-funded NEWT (Nanotechnology Enabled Water Treatment) Engineering Research Center. His research program has generated over 180 publications, with a cumulative citation count of >15K. He has an h-index of 67. He has received numerous honors over the years, including the MIT TR35 Young Innovator Award, the North American Catalysis Society/Southwest Catalysis Society Excellence in Applied Catalysis Award, the Southwest Region ACS Award, and Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Chemical Society, and Royal Society of Chemistry ( https://www.ruf.rice.edu/~wonglab/ProfWong.html ).