Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Number of Pages



Sorption of VOCs from the vapor phase to soils is an important variable in predicting VOC contaminant movement in unsaturated soils. Experiments were performed which evaluated the effects of soil moisture, carbonate, and organic matter content on VOC sorption. Sorption measurements were performed for ten VOC compounds: trichloroethylene (TCE); 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA); benzene; toluene; ethylbenzene; chlorobenzene; heptane; and pentane. Inverse Gas Chromatography (IGC) was the primary method used to measure VOC sorption in these experiments. Sorption for all the evaluated VOCs decreased with increasing moisture. Non-reversibility in the water characteristic curve of water had significant implications for the sorption of VOCs in the soils. Sorption coefficients in the soil were not reversible when the relative humidity was incrementally increased and then decreased between 52% and 87%. Sorption measurements were performed on soil treated with HCL, H{dollar}\sb2{dollar}O{dollar}\sb2{dollar} and humic acid, as well as an untreated soil. The sorption results on the treated soils were compared to the sorption results on the untreated soil. Results from this study support the findings of previous studies that moisture content and soil surface area are the dominant influences on VOC sorption on unsaturated soils. (Abstract shortened by UMI.).


Carbonate; Chromatography; Compounds; Content; Effects; Gas; Inverse; Matter; Moisture; Organic; Phase; Soil; Sorption; Vapor; Volatile

Controlled Subject

Hydrology; Environmental sciences

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3706.88 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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