Document Type


Date of Award

Winter 1-31-1994

Degree Name

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


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Hsin Neng Hsieh

Second Advisor

Paul C. Chan

Third Advisor

Dorairaja Raghu


Nitrocellulose is a toxic waste by definition. It is widely used in military and commercial industries. Nitrocellulose fines escaped from the manufacture's process has created problems in receiving water. However, little information is available for the treatment of nitrocellulose. Nitrocellulose is difficult to treat by microorganisms without any pretreatment. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to use acid hydrolysis to break down this material before biological treatment, and find the optimal operation conditions in this process.

In this work, the results indicate that percentage of nitrocellulose decomposing in hydrolysis depends on types of acid, acid concentration, reaction temperature, and reaction time. For single stage hydrolysis system, the maximum decomposition occurred when acid was 18 N and 36 N H2SO4 at any reaction temperature or 38 % HCI at high temperature. In two stage hydrolysis system, it was found that the second stage reaction had significant effect on the yield of glucose. However, the rate and amount of nitrocellulose dissolved was smaller than that of the first stage system.



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