Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

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


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Joseph W. Bozzelli

Second Advisor

Barbara B. Kebbekus



A method was developed to analyze Acetylene, Ethylene, Ethane, Propylene and Propane levels in the ambient air. Chlorinated compounds within the operation retention time, Methyl chloride, Methylene chloride and Vinyl chloride, were monitored also.

Four sampling sites are located at Carteret, Elizabeth, Newark and Montville in New Jersey. Samples were taken during the summer of 1988. Two sample duration periods utilizing 12 and 6 liter stainless steel canisters were set up to take 24 hour air samples and instantaneous air samples (5 minutes collection period).

The average levels of Acetylene, Ethylene, Ethane, Propylene and Propane at the four sampling sites in North East New Jersey are 7.1, 7.0, 9.1, 4.9 and 6.3 ppb. The Newark sampling site has lowest C2 C3 levels with averages for the above compounds observed as 6.4, 2.8, 4.9, 1.6 and 2.9 respectively.

Water and some other interference problems in the analytical scheme are described, with some modification is also suggested.


A sampling method is designed, constructed and tested to collect samples of volatile organic compounds (VDO's) effluent from ground sites for further analysis and quantitation. It is composed of a sample collection system (closed loop flaw), a hemispherical container covering 850 cm2 area over a ground site and a Tenax packed adsorbent cartridge. GC/MS and capillary column GC are utilized to quantitate and identify the specific VOC's in these samples. The results show that samples collected by this method have varied characteristics with respect to ambient air samples and have very strong location dependency. Some improvements maybe still needed to get more representative data. For example, the air retained in the container should be swept out before sampling.

Although the sampling system is not yet completely optimized, we demonstrate that the VOC's found in the ambient air above a closed sanitary land fill site, are not unique gases effluent from the ground surface, but are more representative of those from other sources of contamination of the ambient air, such as ambient air, active dump site emissions or vehicular exhausts (NJ Turnpike/Highway 17). The advantages, disadvantages and some improvements of this sampling method are also discussed.



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