Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-1997

Degree Name

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


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Daniel Watts

Second Advisor

Hsin Neng Hsieh

Third Advisor

Robert Dresnack


In support of pollution prevention and in accordance with Executive Order 12356 concerning pollution prevention, all federal agencies must comply with the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) chemical release reduction and pollution prevention planning. The inventory lists hundreds of chemicals and choosing those to replace and finding actual replacement chemicals or procedures is not always clear. This study focuses on an analytical approach to this problem by understanding the application of two substances. The representative chemicals are two volatile organic compounds (VOC), ethyl ether and ethanol, used as solvents in ammunition manufacturing.

Thirteen military specifications provide the cases involving ether. Ethanol's use as the solvent for shellac in a primer lacquer is characterized in the laboratory. Due to interest in substituting acetone for ethanol, an acetone based primer lacquer is fabricated and tested in comparison to its ethanol counterpart. The results form the basis for broader application and chemical change.