Dr. Detlef Knappe and students examine a sample collected along the Haw River.

Dr. Knappe Wins Best Paper Award

Dr. Detlef Knappe, Professor of Environmental Engineering, received a “Best Paper” award from the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters. The paper titled “Legacy and Emerging Perfluoroalkyl Substances Are Important Drinking Water Contaminants in the Cape Fear River Watershed of North Carolina” was one of only four papers selected in 2016. It is well known that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are present in the environment, but this paper is the first to document the importance of emerging PFASs as drinking water contaminants in the US. Emerging PFASs were present at high concentrations in the lower Cape Fear River watershed, and a drinking water treatment plant equipped with advanced unit processes was unable to remove the newly discovered contaminants. The work was led by Dr. Knappe’s postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Mei Sun and graduate student Elisa Arevalo (MS 2014).