Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Committee Member

Eduardo Robleto

Second Committee Member

Duane Moser

Number of Pages



Acrylamide (AMD), a neurotoxin and suspected carcinogen, is present up to 0.05% in linear anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) which is being evaluated as a canal sealant across the western United States. The capacity of canal microorganisms to facilitate AMD degradation was examined to constrain risks of PAM applications. AMD degradation under simulated groundwater flow was determined with soil column tests (repacked and soil cores) and spiked bottle tests verified microbial degradation under in situ and ex situ conditions. Results of the repacked columns indicate AMD degradation in the presence of competing substrates with half-lives ranging from 0.9 to 3.12 hours. Soil core column tests, with AMD half-lives of ∼34.1 hours and removal of spiked AMD (up to 5 ppm) within 12 days confirmed ability of AMD degradation by natural populations of microorganisms. Phylogenetic analysis of an AMD-degrading isolate collection concluded close sequence similarity to characterized, common bacteria belonging to several phyla.


Acrylamide; Canal; Mediated; Microbial; Removal; System

Controlled Subject

Microbiology; Municipal engineering; Sanitary engineering; Environmental sciences

File Format


File Size

1.44 MB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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