Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Mark N. Goltz, PhD


Conventional technologies for the treatment of groundwater contaminated with chlorinated solvents have limitations that have motivated development of innovative technologies. One such technology currently under development involves using palladium-on-alumina (Pd/Al) as a catalyst to promote dechlorination. Pd/Al catalyst may be used in-well as part of a re-circulating horizontal flow treatment well (HFTW) system. An HFTW system involves two or more dual-screened wells, with in-well reactors, to capture and treat contaminated groundwater without the need to pump the water to the surface. In this study, objective and fitness functions, based on system costs and TCE concentration requirements, were developed to optimize a dual-well HFTW system with in-well Pd/Al reactors in a two-aquifer remediation scenario. A genetic algorithm (GA) was coupled with a three dimensional numerical model of contaminant fate and transport to determine optimized HFTW control parameters (well location, pumping rate, and reactor size). The GA obtained a solution within the specified constraints, but the solution was an artificial solution, as contaminated groundwater in one of the two aquifers received no treatment. Based on these results, new objective and fitness functions were developed in an effort to determine the most cost effective solution to remove contaminant mass from the aquifer. The solution arrived at using this approach, while resulting in minimized values of cost per contaminant mass destroyed, produced unacceptably high downgradient contaminant concentration levels. We conclude that by specifying that only two wells could be used in the HFTW system, we overconstrained the problem and that a multi-well HFTW solution is required.

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