Date of Award

Spring 1999

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

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

Department

Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Mohamed E. Labib

Second Advisor

Dana E. Knox

Third Advisor

Jay N. Meegoda

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to select reduction media for application in permeable barriers for removing chromate ions from groundwater emanating from chromium refining sites in New Jersey. The high pH condition of groundwater in such sites is expected to pose limitations on the use of metallic iron (Fe0) as the sole reductive medium.

Reasonable reduction kinetics was achieved using iron at pH < 9.2. Several pH lowering media were investigated and were found to have either very slow or very fast dissolution kinetics, which rendered them impractical for use in passive permeable barriers. Two other media, namely: pyrite and siderite minerals have shown promising results, but fell short of achieving the required performance. Detailed investigation of interfacial processes in a batch reactor have shown that the addition of a small amount of a neutral salt can significantly improve chromate reduction kinetics, even at high pH conditions around 10.9.

The formation of passivating layers, which can slowdown the reaction significantly, was found to be important at high pH conditions. It is recommended that an injection system be used with the reactive barrier to insure that the pH and salt conditions are adequate to achieving the needed reaction rates while preventing the formation of passivating layers during this long-term application.

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