Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

John A. Bergendahl, Advisor

Identifier

etd-042908-140653

Abstract

Trichloroethylene (TCE) is one of the most common groundwater pollutants in the United States and is a suspected carcinogen. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that between 9% and 34% of the drinking water sources in the United States may contain TCE, and have set a maximum contaminant level of 5 ìg/L for drinking water. Traditional treatment technologies such as granular activated carbon and air stripping have only had marginal success at removing TCE from contaminated sites. Chemical oxidation processes have provided a promising alternative to traditional treatment methods. The objective of this research was to examine the conditions under which zero valent iron (Fe0) activates persulfate anions to produce sulfate free radicals, a powerful oxidant used for destroying organic contaminants in water. With batch experiments, it was found that persulfate activated by zero valent iron removed TCE more effectively than persulfate oxidation activated by ferrous iron. This laboratory study also investigated the influence of pH (from 2 to 10) on TCE removal. TCE was prepared in purified water and a fixed persulfate/TCE molar ratio was employed in all tests. The results indicated that this reaction occurred over a wide range of pH values. The production and destruction of daughter products cis 1,2 dichloroethylene and vinyl chloride were observed. The effect of persulfate dose on this reaction was also studied. Results showed that a molar ratio of 10/1/1 (persulfate/ZVI/TCE) yielded over 95 percent TCE destruction. Increasing the persulfate dose resulted in greater TCE destruction as well as destruction of the daughter products. Kinetic experiments at a molar ratio of 10/1/1 (persulfate/ZVI/TCE) show that approximately 90 percent of the TCE was destroyed in less than 15 minutes.

Publisher

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name

MS

Department

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Project Type

Thesis

Date Accepted

2008-04-29

Accessibility

Unrestricted

Subjects

Persulfate, Oxidation, Trichloroethylene, Zero Valent Iron

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