Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Edward C. Heyse, PhD


Existing sorption models often fail to describe grain scale sorption because of an inability to define the diffusion domain. A proposed improved model required testing to determine model validity. The testing method used a synthetic media of known geometry such that the distribution of sorption sites was known. Sorption rate data was obtained using batch experiments with the media. Data was used in comparison against model predicted rates. Fined sorption site distributions were compared to real distributions obtained by controlling sorbent geometries. Comparison determined model performance in fitting known distributions. The focus of this study was to (1) determine what protocols are necessary to ensure consistent chemical and physical properties of a synthetic media for sorption studies, (2) determine if the proposed model can predict the known shape parameters describing the frequency distribution of sorption sites by using the rate data obtained from sorption studies, and (3) validate the model. Model performance was encouraging for simultaneous fitting of two shape parameters. Simulations resulted in sorption site distributions similar to the known distributions. This model is an improvement over other diffusion models where geometries are assumed to be spherical. Prediction of real soil sorption site distributions may be possible.

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