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CDU Event

Professorial Lecture Series by Professor Bogdan Dlugogorski

Presenter Professor Bogdan Dlugogorski
Contact person
CDU Events
T: 08 89466554 E:
Location Charles Darwin University Theatre, Orange 3, Casuarina Campus
Free to public

PFAS and Fluorine-Free Firefighting Foams: Performance vs Environment and Health

Professor Bogdan Dlugogorski

The firefighting foam industry is in turmoil.  With the decision to phase out the production of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and the subsequent restrictions on PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) by the Stockholm Convention, the industry has transitioned to either the fluorine-free foams (F3) or shorter-fluorocarbon-chain (C6) PFAS foams. 

There are opponents and supporters of the two formulations.

On one hand, PFAS foams do not biodegrade and persist in the environment, a situation that poses unacceptable risk to large parts of the community and several environmental NGOs.

On the other hand, while fluorine-free foams satisfy a range of international standards, they do not pass the US military specification, which makes them unacceptable for defence use. 

For civilian purposes, fluorine-free foams require higher application rates and demand careful redesigning of the suppression systems.

So where does this leave us in selecting a firefighting foam for a practical application? Do we want the millions of plane passengers each day and petrochemical plants protected by the most environmentally friendly firefighting option or the most effective at suppressing fire.

Professor Bogdan Dlugogorski is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research and Innovation at Charles Darwin University.

He is a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Chemist with a distinguished record as a researcher, inventor and academic leader.

Professor Dlugogorski joined CDU in May 2019, having previously held the positions of Dean of School of Engineering and Information Technology at Murdoch University in Perth and Director of Priority Research Centre for Energy at the University of Newcastle, Australia. 

He holds a DSc in Fire Safety Science and Engineering (Newcastle), PhD and MEng in Chemical Engineering (Montreal, McGill), and undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering and Geophysics (Calgary).  He has expertise in process safety, fire and explosion safety, extractive metallurgy and environment protection, especially in formation of toxic products in combustion processes.

Professor Dlugogorski is a Fellow of Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, Combustion Institute, Society of Fire Protection Engineers, Engineers Australia and Royal Australian Chemical Institute.  He is Immediate Past Chairman of International Association for Fire Safety Science.