Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Environmental Science and Policy

Major Professor

Kathy Carvalho-Knighton, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Henry Alegria, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ashanti Pyrtle, Ph.D.


Environmental Chemistry, Solid Phase Microextraction, Vieques, PR, Explosives, Nitroaromatics


This research focused on the use of nanoscale zero-valent iron (NZVI) to remediate trinitrotoluene (TNT). Zero-valent iron has demonstrated effective degradation of TNT, however, these particles themselves have significant problems in treating sorbed phase TNT in the aerobic environment. This research was comprised of four areas: degradation studies of neat nano-iron with aqueous TNT, degradation studies of nanoiron emulsion with aqueous TNT, characterization of TNT in Vieques, Puerto Rico sediment, and Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) technique interface with HPLC. Both neat and emulsion NZVI studies showed TNT degradation. More degradation was seen in studies using fresher iron. The results from our characterization study in Vieques, PR showed no presence of TNT within our detection limits of 0.0625ppm. Also, SPME is a new extraction solvent saving technique being explored because of its reproducible extractions in water. This work also gives a brief history of SPME and possible uses with TNT.