Selective Sorption of Polydisperse Ethoxylated Nonionic Surfactants to Aquifer Materials

EPA Grant Number: GF9500147
Title: Selective Sorption of Polydisperse Ethoxylated Nonionic Surfactants to Aquifer Materials
Investigators: Kibbey, Tohren C.G.
Institution: University of Michigan
EPA Project Officer: Packard, Benjamin H
Project Period: September 1, 1995 through  
Project Amount: $28,614
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1995) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry , Fellowship - Engineering


The goal of the research described here is to study how the component distribution of an ethoxylated nonionic surfactant influences its overall sorption and desorption behavior, and to assess the surfactant, sorbent and solution conditions under which selective sorption and desorption of individual surfactant components become significant. Progress to date has included the development of a novel high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analytical technique to separate and quantify the individual surfactant components, and the completion of several batch sorption experiments on quartz, with a variety of surfactants. The HPLC method makes use of an evaporative light scattering detector (ELSD), which makes possible the detection of ethoxylated linear alcohols which until recently could only be analyzed with difficult derivitization techniques. Through the use of this HPLC technique, experiments can examine the simultaneous sorption of as many as forty-five distinct surfactant components. Future experiments will consider a variety of common aquifer materials and a range of surfactants. The results of this research will provide a greater understanding of sorption and desorption of mixed surfactants, and will provide information necessary for selection of optimal surfactants for aquifer remediation applications.

Supplemental Keywords:

Scientific Discipline, Waste, Chemical Engineering, Remediation, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, Chemistry and Materials Science, Environmental Engineering, surfactant enhanced aquifer remediation, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), selective sorption, evaporative light scattering detector (ELSD), sorption and desorption of surfactants, polydisperse ethoxylated nonionic surfactants, aquifer materials