Date of Award

Fall 1997

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Kamalesh K. Sirkar

Second Advisor

Robert G. Luo

Third Advisor

Norman W. Loney


Surfactant-enhanced subsurface remediation appears to be capable of removing efficiently contaminants from the source area as well as the concentrated plume. Initial research was conducted on separate removal of trichloroethylene (TCE) and an oil. It was found that oil permeation and modified pervaporation are effective techniques of removing oil and TCE respectively from the simulated feed. It was found that the oil permeation technique can effectively remove 98-99% of oil from an oil-in-water emulsion. The subsurface-entrapped organic pollutants often have high boiling components along with the VOCs. A combined permeation technique is applied here to simultaneously remove TCE and n-dodecane (a model oil) from a model surfactant-flushed aqueous solution in a hollow fiber membrane device. The oil-in-water emulsion containing TCE and oil flows through the bore of microporous hydrophobic hollow fibers. The shell is subjected to vacuum for the modified pervaporation-based removal of TCE which diffuses through the pores and the nonporous silicone skin on the outer surface of fibers. The oil wets the pores and is removed by permeation through the nonporous silicone rubber skin by applying a positive feed pressure.The presence of oil affected the flux of TCE but the water flux was cut down by almost 90%. It was observed that the presence of surfactant adversely affected the removal of oil. It was found that removal of TCE decreases with increased flow rate whereas the removal of oil increases with increased flow rate. Removal of TCE was constant at a low concentration of oil but at higher concentrations, the removal of TCE showed a decline with time.