Date of Thesis

9-25-2016

Thesis Type

Masters Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Master of Arts

Department

Chemistry

First Advisor

Karen J. Castle

Abstract

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is an important byproduct of Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) as it can be detrimental to human health. In this project, several different techniques were attempted to try to quantify small concentrations, less than 1 ppm, of H2S, using readily available instrumentation until a new measurement system, using laser absorption spectroscopy, can be built. Ultimately, the most successful approach was Flame Photometric Detection--Gas Chromatography (FPD-GC), which was used to measure H2S and SO2 concentrations at two different AMD sites in Shamokin, PA during July 2016. Relative humidity and air temperature measurements were recorded and initial results showed a trend start to appear between H2S and the two weather variables. No clear trend existed between SO2 and the weather variables, under the current experimental conditions. From initial measurements using FPD-GC, the concentration of H2S in the air above AMD sites is in the range of 0.003--0.1 ppm, resulting from the odor threshold of H2S and the lower detection limit of the FPD-GC. Because there were problems associated with all of the methods, including FPD-GC, a new apparatus has been proposed using a laser or black body source to measure the low H2S concentrations in-situ.

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