Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Committee Member

Spencer M. Steinberg

Number of Pages



In this study, the vapor-phase sorption of trichloroethylene (TCE) and benzene onto soil were assessed using Inverse Gas Chromatography (IGC). Soils were treated with two different methods: (1) Soils were incubated with bacterial polysaccharide (to increase organic matter); (2) Soil was modified with cationic surfactant tetrabutyl-ammonium (TBA) and benzyl-diemethyl-sterylammonium (BDMS) respectively. The sorption results on the treated soils were compared to sorption results on the untreated soil. This comparison indicated that there were no significant differences between the VOC sorptions on untreated soil and bacterial polysaccharide treated soil. Sorption experiments on TBA-treated and BDMS-treated soil were conducted at various moisture contents. The results showed that cation surfactant modification affects both the magnitude and mechanism of VOCs sorption. Sorption of VOCs onto TBA-treated and BDMS treated soils is primarily the result of uptake by soil organic matter, and sorption were less dependent on moisture content of soil.


Bacteria; Benzene; Cationic; Compounds; Effects; Organic; Polysaccharide; Soil; Sorption; Surfactant; Treatment; Trichloroethylene; Volatile; Benzene

Controlled Subject

Chemistry, Analytic; Soil science; Environmental engineering

File Format


File Size

1812.48 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have the full text removed from Digital Scholarship@UNLV, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.


IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit