Date of Award

Spring 2011

Project Type


Program or Major

Civil Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Kevin Gardner


Some of the most common byproducts from industrial production and hydrocarbon combustion are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). These compounds readily adsorb to lake and river sediment, and represent a significant problem to humans and the environment. Capping technologies work as physical barriers between the contamination in the sediment and the greater ecosystem. In this study, capping performance is analyzed based on the removal efficiency of two different organoclay-based treatments and a sand treatment, and the loading rate of PAHs onto the treatment materials. PAH loading rate and removal efficiency indicate the material's ability to sequester PAHs from the aqueous phase as they migrate towards the surface water. This study provides data for evaluating the relative merits of the different types of capping technologies investigated.