Document Type


Date of Award



College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (COSET)

Degree Name

MS in Chemistry

First Advisor

Professor Yuanjian Deng


Cleanup and remediation of land based petroleum hydrocarbon is one of the most extensive aspects of maintaining the environmental integrity of ground water. The cleanup and remediation involves ex-situ and in-situ processes. The ex-situ processes are costly and labor intensive, while the in-situ processes are cheaper but are extremely time consuming. One of the ex-situ processes involves the application of combined carbon sorption and biodegradation procedure. This research investigates a similarly combined degradation process in an in-situ remediation of petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs). Three degradation matrixes were prepared using serum bottles: granular activated carbon (GAC) only, nutrients-carbon and microbes (GAC-nutrients-microbes), and nutrients and microbes (nutrients-microbes) only. The nutrients were added to promote anaerobic degradation. To assess the degradation efficiency, two PHCs concentrations were selected for the investigation: high concentration (l0 mg/L) and low concentration (l mg/L). The hydrocarbon constituents spiked in the batch test include the PHCs typically of greatest concern at a gasoline release site. These constituents included tertbutyl alcohol (TBA) along with benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX). Each test was done in duplicate. A third test was the "control" in each set, that contains 1 2 exactly the same ingredients with sodium aside being added to inhibit the aerobic process. All samples were analyzed usmg gas chromatography with mass selective detection (GC/MSD). The sample introduction is based on purge and trap (P&T) methodology. Analysis continued for a period of approximately three months. First order degradation rates were calculated to determine the most effective means of removal of selective PRCs at different concentrations. Experimental data indicated that there was no obvious enhancement of degradation using the combination of biologically activated carbon