Date of Award

Winter 2006

Project Type


Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Kevin H Gardner


Sediments contaminated with dioxins/furans and polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs) have been the subject of little study although they are equal, if not more significant, contributors than PCBs to toxicity at selected sites. The reaction of a bimetal catalyst, palladized magnesium (Mg/Pd, 0.01% by weight Pd) with these contaminants was studied in solvents and sediments.

The reaction for single congeners in solvent resulted in 69-95% removal in 30 minutes. The detection of dibenzo-p-dioxin for the dioxin reaction and naphthalene/tetralin for the PCN reaction demonstrated dechlorination. A 24 hour sediment reaction with Mg/Pd resulted in 48% and 71% reduction for spiked sediments (500 ppb OCDD) from the Passaic and Tittabawassee rivers respectively. This reaction, repeated with un-spiked, PCN contaminated Trenton Channel sediments resulted in 50 to 70% removal. This is the first work to treat PCNs in sediments. Reaction optimization and application development could lead to a promising sediment treatment approach.