Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Biological and Environmental Sciences


Environmental and Earth Sciences (EVES)



First Advisor

Thomas Boving


Despite recent advances, subsurface remediation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as chlorinated solvents and petroleum hydrocarbons, remains a challenging environmental problem. As a result, the development of innovative methods for remediating subsurface VOC remains a major environmental priority. In addition to these priority pollutants, perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) and 1,4-dioxane are contaminants of emerging concern due to their potential toxicity and prevalence in the environment. These emerging contaminants have increasingly been identified as co-contaminants at VOC release sites, and remediation strategies capable of treating VOC as well as 1,4-dioxane and PFCs would be of great value. In this dissertation, field and laboratory studies were conducted to evaluate an innovative remediation strategy for VOC priority pollutants and determine its effects on PFCs and 1,4-dioxane. Chapter 1 details the outcome of a solubility-enhanced in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) pilot-scale field test for the remediation of VOC. Chapter 2 investigates the fate of PFC co-contaminants during the ISCO field test detailed in Chapter 1. Finally, Chapter 3 examines the degradation of 1,4-dioxane, a recalcitrant emerging contaminant frequent detected at solvent release sites, as well as its common VOC co-contaminants 1,1,1-trichloroethane and trichloroethene, using the same novel advanced oxidation process (AOP) as in Chapters 1 and 2. The results show that the solubility-enhancing agent hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin can be successfully combined with ISCO to treat VOCs under field conditions. The results also suggest that ISCO can be used safely to treat VOCs at sites where the emerging contaminants 1,4-dioxane and PFCs have been identified or are suspected to occur.



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