Civil Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-27-1979


This investigation characterized a biological secondary wastewater effluent by conventional wastewater analysis parameters, evaluated the capabilities of activated carbon and macroreticular resin for recover­ing residual organics from the effluent, correlated conventional para­meters with carbon recoveries, developed high-pressure liquid chroma­tographic techniques for separation of organics in the recovered mixtures and identified a selected extract fraction. The Organics-Carbon Adsorbable Standard Method was adapted for use with a low turbidity effluent and a mass balance based on non-volatile total organic carbon was developed, demonstrating that the sorptive capacity of the system was not exceeded by a 60-1 sample. Ten individual carbon chloroform extracts were recovered with this procedure. A parallel run using pulsed versus nonpulsed carbon beds was made and demonstrated that the reverse-phase and gel permeation chromatograms gave similar responses. Five parallel runs were made to compare the recovery abilities of activated carbon and XAD-2 macroreticular resin. An improved recovery system was developed which uses a smaller sample volume, reduced sample time and less adsorbant; this system recovered a greater organic mass per gram of carbon and per unit volume of sample than the Organics-Carbon Adsorbable procedure and gave measurable recoveries in 24 hours. The carbon and resin extracts were separated and characterized by reverse-phase and gel permeation high-pressure liquid chromatography. The chromatograms, obtained with an ultraviolet detector operated at 254 nm, appeared independent of plant operating conditions, including effluent chlorination. Statistically valid cor­relations of carbon-chloroform extract, nonvolatile total organic car­bon and chemical oxygen demand were developed. Elemental analysis o a selected extract was accomplished. Extract molecular weight distri­bution studies show that 63% of a selected extract as greater than 500, and 20% of effluent chemical oxygen demand was greater than 10,000 nominal molecular weight. Angelicalactone as separated and recovered in microgram quantities sufficient for infrared and mass spectroscopic identification.

Document Type


Degree Name

Civil Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Civil Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

James Robert Matthews

Second Committee Member

Michael G. MacNaughton

Third Committee Member

Cornie Leonard Hulsbos

Fourth Committee Member

Roy D. Caton

Fifth Committee Member

Milton Kahn