Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Engineering Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Dr. Jose Herrera

Second Advisor

Dr. Denis O’Carroll


The potential of nanoscale zero valent iron (NZVI) particles for dechlorination of trichloroethylene has been studied. Parameters such as iron loading and contaminant concentration have been evaluated. NZVI particles were synthesized by reduction of an iron precursor salt using sodium borohydride and have been characterized in terms of particles size and size distribution using electron microscopy. The surface potential, BET surface area and surface composition of particles have been also characterized. Reactivity batch tests indicate pseudo-zero order kinetics for the initial reaction stages at high TCE concentration. Reactivity studies and photoelectron spectroscopy analysis on the iron nanoparticles indicate that the formation of an oxide layer is responsible for a decrease in dechlorination activity. The addition of a very small amount of a second metal (Pd) dramatically improves dechlorination activity; complete and fast reduction of TCE is observed in these cases.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.