Faculty Advisor

Bergendahl, John Andrew


Coal tar-based pavement products, including sealcoats and rejuvenators, have been under scrutiny due to the presence of high concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the coal tar base. Researchers have found that PAHs mobilize from coal tar sealcoats, primarily through the formation of PAH-laden dust particles. Coal tar-based sealcoats have been banned in many locations in the U.S. due to the concerns over carcinogenic and mutagenic effects of the PAHs they contain. The purpose of this project was to quantify PAHs mobilized from a coal tar-based rejuvenator by evaluating site samples for total PAHs. Total PAH concentrations provided a snapshot of the possible environmental and health risks of coal tar-based products used for pavement maintenance.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2017


Civil Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering