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

Richard B. Trattner

Third Advisor

Barbara B. Kebbekus


The purpose of this research was to determine the feasibility of removing organic contaminants from sand by thermal desorption. A continuous feed rotary kiln was designed and constructed to study the thermal desorption behavior of organic contaminant from sand with respect to temperature and residence time, and to develop a mathematical model that will describe this desorption behavior. The model will allow prediction of the desorption rate of an organic contaminant in larger scale rotary kiln desorption system over temperature at a known set of residence time.

In this experiment, sand was uniformly contaminated with a known amount of organic compound and fed into a rotary kiln operating at a predetermined temperature and residence time with a constant purge gas flow. The analysis of the contaminated sand and the desorbed sand were both extracted with solvent and analyzed for contaminated level by a Gas Chromatograph (GC) equipped with a flame ionization detector (FID).

Each investigation was done at different temperatures, and, from these experiments an engineering equation was developed where the resistance time needed for removal can be predicted for any given temperature of system operation. The result showed that the rate of desorption from sand of 1-dodecene increased with increases in temperature as shown in the following mathematical relationship :

In (Ci/Co) = - k * T + Di



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