Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences

Committee Member

Dr. Ronald Falta, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Lawrence Murdoch

Committee Member

Dr. Stephen Moysey


Thermal remediation is an established method for the remediation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Thermal remediation for the remediation of elemental mercury was successfully applied by Kunkel et al., 2006 in the laboratory scale. Before the technology can be applied to the field scale, the thermal treatment for mercury needs to better understood using numerical simulation.

The Department of Energy’s TOUGH2/TMVOC Code was developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and was used to evaluate the potential effectiveness of thermal treatment to remediate elemental mercury. TMVOC is a three phase non-isothermal numerical simulator for water, gas, and VOCs in porous media and was used to simulate the removal of elemental mercury due to its liquid state at 25°C and relatively high vapor pressure at elevated temperatures.

The overlying work was conducted as feasibility research for the maturation of thermal treatment for elemental mercury. Multiphase flow, contaminant phase change, and transport processes were investigated as mercury transfers from the liquid to gas phase and is then extracted from the system. Geometry, temperature, pressure and mass injection rates were evaluated to better understand the thermal treatment process for the treatment of mercury. The study consists of three key elements: 1) Numerical simulation of one dimensional thermal treatment experiments performed by Kunkel et al., 2006 for the treatment of elemental mercury 2) Simulation of ex-situ thermal treatment simulation under varying conditions for the removal of elemental mercury and 3) A feasibility assessment of in-situ thermal treatment for the removal of elemental mercury in porous media.



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