Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Glen P. Perram, PhD


This thesis investigated the influence of temperature on the desorption rated of trichloroethylene (TCE) from plastic clay. It was expected that an increase in temperature will cause an increase in both the desorption rates of TCE and in the desorbed quantity. Previous studies on other chemicals indicated a faster decrease in the remaining sorbed concentration with an increase in temperature. This research made use of the infrared optical absorption technique. IR spectroscopy was used to measure the concentration of the vapor TCE that desorbed from the soil. The soil was exposed to liquid TCE for 2 days then placed inside an enclosed glass tube and was allowed to desorb at a fixed temperature for a period of 4 hours. Similar experiments were performed with temperature as the only variable. The results were an initial and rapid desorption followed by a leveling off. The rate of the initial desorption was found to increase with temperature and the quantity desorbed was also found to increase. The data was analyzed and was found to follow the Langmuir kinetic model.

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