Sorbseal® is an Australian made hybrid Geosynthetic Clay Liner (hGCL) which works as a barrier to liquids in the same way as a regular GCL, but also helps trap a wide range of contaminants, including potentially dangerous Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), preventing them from entering the surrounding environment.


Sorbseal has been modified with a very specific, high surface area powdered activated carbon and when used in composite lining designs, it can be an effective barrier for hundreds of years. Sorbseal is essentially a supercharged GCL with the ability to capture a lot more contaminants than standard GCLs that are made with bentonite alone. The powdered activated carbon enables the microscopic PFAS chemical contaminants to be attracted to, and then trapped inside the pores of the powdered activated carbon.

Sorbseal is:

  • Reliable and safe-to-use as it is engineered to meet the EPA’s National Environmental Management Plan (NEMP) guidelines on maximum levels of PFOS, PFOA and PFHxS
  • Customisable to suit specific site chemistries for tailored solutions
  • For multiple uses across a range of applications including base liners, ponds and capping of contaminated materials
Sorbseal hGCL product image
Sorbseal hgcl call out stop PFAS

About PFAS contamination

PFAS are a very large group of chemicals which have been in use since the 1950’s in a wide variety of products, including non-stick cookware, carpet treatments, shampoo and fire-fighting foam. Their unique chemistry allows them to resist water and oil as well as survive extreme temperatures.

PFAS chemicals can last a very long time in nature and can build up in the soil, plants, animals and humans. There is an increasing amount of evidence which suggests exposure to these chemicals can be harmful to our health.

Because they are used in a wide range of products that we use in our everyday lives, they end up in landfill. This is where Sorbseal can help by lining and capping the landfill, ensuring that these harmful chemicals do not find their way into the environment.

Using Sorbseal vs GCL

Initial studies on standard GCLs showed poor retention of a number of PFAS chemicals and compounds. The primary difference between Sorbseal and a standard GCL is the addition of the powdered activated carbon. The bentonite is the same and the cover and carrier geotextiles are the same, so for those designing with standard GCLs, there’s no need to change traditional design methodologies. The hydraulic performance, mechanical behaviour and internal shear strength properties, all remain within expected standard GCL parameters.

Sorbseal hGCL body image