Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Engineering and Earth Science

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Caye Drapcho

Committee Member

Dr. M.K. Watson

Committee Member

Dr. Nhuan Nghiem


An experimental method for measurement and determination of carbon dioxide volumetric mass transfer coefficients (kLa) in high pH water was developed. The goal of this research was to develop a relationship between CO2 and O2 volumetric mass transfer coefficients for accurate kLa values in order to meet the needs of carbon capture systems and other industries. Results included dissolved oxygen (DO) and total inorganic carbon (TIC) kLa comparisons, as well as polarographic DO (mg/L) and galvanic DO (mV) kLa correlation. CO2 kLa estimation based on O2 mass transfer was significantly higher than experimental results. Mean CO2 kLa values for a specific air-lift device ranged from 0.063 - 0.2 (1/min) for three depths and air flow rates for laboratory-scale experiments. When compared to laboratory-scale kLa values with equivalent water depth and air flow rate parameters, small pilot-scale average CO2 and TIC kLa values decreased proportionally with increase in volume. This relationship confirmed laboratory CO2 kLa results to be an accurate scale up TIC delivery predictor for pilot algae raceway systems.



I would like to dedicate this thesis to hard work, and to those who care about tomorrow’s world pushing for a sustainable future. May our work help edge the needle, in some small way, towards a better World. May this report bring us one step closer to that.


First and foremost, I want to thank God for blessing me with the opportunity to do this research, and my future wife Sarah and roommate Jack for listening to me ramble about carbon for 2 years. I want to venerably thank my advisor Dr. Caye Drapcho for believing in our research, and mentoring me into a confident researcher. I’d like to thank my committee members Dr. M.K. Watson and Dr. Nhuan Nghiem for their expertise, and being so willing to assist with my thesis defense. Thank you all for your service to this thesis research. I greatly appreciate you.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.