Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 1-31-1998

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science - (Ph.D.)


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Ching-Rong Huang

Second Advisor

Richard B. Trattner

Third Advisor

Barbara B. Kebbekus

Fourth Advisor

Henry Shaw

Fifth Advisor

Su Ling Cheng


In this study, surfactants and Fenton's reagents (Fe(II) and H202) ere proposed to solve contaminated site problems in situ on a lab scale. Phenanthrene is a simple PAHs (polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons). The phenanthrene spiked ottawa sand simulated contaminated soil. HPLC was used for phenanthrene analysis because it provided excellent separation and no interference. Six surfactants (including nonionic and ionic) were tested. The operating conditions were optimized based on process and economic considerations such as reaction time, mixing speed, concentrations of surfactants and concentrations of Fenton's reagents. Surfactants could effectively dissolve phenanthrene from the spiked sand. In the absence of surfactants, Fenton's reactions could efficiently decompose the target compound on the sand surface. Running a sequence of Fenton's reactions was more effective than a single reaction. The combinations of a surfactant and Fenton's reaction were better than the effect of a surfactant only. A model was developed that can qualitatively predict the residual phenanthrene concentration on sand surface as a function of time, mixing speed and concentrations of surfactant and Fenton's reagents. The model was in excellent agreement with the experimental results.



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