Document Type


Date of Award

Summer 8-31-1998

Degree Name

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


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Piero M. Armenante

Second Advisor

David Kafkewitz

Third Advisor

Sudhi Mukherjee


Methods for the extraction and analysis of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from contaminated soil were evaluated for use in a treatability study. Candidate procedures were selected from EPA SW-846 (Third Edition) methods. Soxhlet extraction (3540B) was selected to determine initial PAH concentrations. Supercritical fluid extraction with carbon dioxide (SFE: 3561) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC: 8310) were evaluated for use as the extraction and analysis methods. Experimental soil was obtained from a petroleum product refinery site; a Certified Reference Material (CRM) was also studied.

Experiments focused on determining concentrations of anthracene, chrysene, fluoranthene, phenanthrene, and pyrene in untreated experimental soil; recoveries from SFE and Soxhlet extraction were compared. SFE method 3561 uses a 5%, 1/4 (v/v) methanol/water modifier; a 5% methanol modifier was also evaluated. Soxhlet extractions yielded the highest recoveries of the PAHs with the exception of fluoranthene, recovered only after SFE with the pure methanol modifier.