Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-1996

Degree Name

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


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Basil Baltzis

Second Advisor

Piero M. Armenante

Third Advisor

Dana E. Knox


This study dealt with understanding the partitioning of pyrene between water and mineral oil, and the mass transfer of pyrene from solid particles to oil/water suspensions.

It was found that when pyrene is dissolved in mineral oil, the amount transferred to water is negligible even after 10 days of phase contact.

Glass beads and sand were used as model solid phases to simulate soil and PAH (pyrene)-contaminated industrial sludges.

The transfer of pyrene from glass beads to mineral oil when no water phase is present was quantified. Mass transfer coefficients, and their dependence on the rate of environment shaking were determined and show that the transfer of pyrene is fast.

Experiments with oil/water suspensions showed that pyrene transfer depends on the amount of oil, the degree of dispersion of oil in the water phase, the speed of mixing, and the type of solids on which pyrene is attached/adsorbed. It was found that mixing leads to detachment of pyrene from glass beads and sand surfaces, something which did not allow for determination of the mass transfer coefficient per se. It was found however, that mass transfer rates are slow (especially with sand) which suggests that biological treatment of PAH-contaminated soil and industrial sludges in slurry reactors must be mass-transfer limited.



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