Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Charles A. Bleckmann, PhD


This research effort used an automated respirometer to evaluate the enhancement of JP-8 fuel biodegradation, from surfactant addition. Two nonionic surfactants, Novell 1412-7 and Alfonic 810-4.5 were chosen for addition to contaminated JP-8, microcosms at three levels of treatment. The three levels of treatment included sub-CMC, CMC, and supra-CMC concentrations for each surfactant. The Novell II, nonionic surfactant, exhibited inhibitory characteristics, and was eliminated from the study. The focus of the study was to determine if JP-8 was actually degraded, and if enhancement of JP-8 biodegradation would be achieved from surfactant addition. The respirometer was found to be repeatable within experimental runs. However, reproducibility between experimental runs was not as easy to conclude. The reason for this was that measurement error was introduced from adding surfactants from separate stock solutions. JP-8 biodegradation was proven at all sampling intervals using a statistical hypothesis test about the difference of the means. Enhancement, inhibition, or no effect of surfactant addition was concluded using a statistical hypothesis based on the difference of the mean oxygen uptake, at each sampling interval, for the combined treatments of JP-8 and surfactant, and the individual treatments of JP-8 and surfactant. One level of Alfonic surfactant addition, CMC, resulted in enhancement being concluded.

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