Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Calvin Poon


This study evaluated the effectiveness of granular activated carbon in treating hydrocarbons contaminated groundwater. Contaminated groundwater samples were obtained from the airfield refueling area of the former Davisville - Quonset Point Naval Complex at North Kingstown, R.I. Previous studies on the site showed the contaminants as a mixture of JP 5 and aviation fuel, but because of the changes that might have taken place within the constituents of the groundwater contaminants due to aging, volatilization, exposure and interaction with the soils minerals and groundwater, the contaminants are characterized as Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH).

This study conducted isotherm studies on the contaminated water using Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) F-400, Calgon Corp., Pittsburg, PA. Freundlich Isotherm parameters were obtained from the batch adsorbtion isothermal studies. The analyses of the breakthrough curves obtained from the experimental column tests provided the information needed to assess the most reasonable GAC adsorber volume for treating the contaminated water under this situation. This could serve model for sizing a field scale carbon adsorber required for similar contaminants.

This study utilized granular activated carbon (GAC) F-400, Calgon in treating 210 Liters of 7 mg/L, 324 Liters of 6 mg/L and 360 Liters of 144 mg/L of aged fuel (TPH) contaminated water samples at flowrates of 0.5 L/min, 0.6 L/min and 0.75 L/min respectively.



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