Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Jeffrey Cunningham, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Maya Trotz, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Wolan, Ph.D.


1, 2, 4, 5-Tetrachlorobenzene, Batch Reactor, Benzene, Cyclohexane, Palladium, Rhodium


The objective of this research was to aid in the development of a new method for removing and destroying soil contaminants. In particular, 1,2,4,5-tetrachlorobenzene (TeCB) was selected for this research. Hydrodehalogenation (HDH) was paired with hydrogenation for remedially destroying TeCB without generating a secondary waste stream in a single batch reactor. Palladium- and rhodium-catalyzed HDH and hydrogenation were applied in a batch reactor at room temperature and moderate hydrogen pressure. Cyclohexane was formed as an end product with benzene as an intermediate reactant.

An analytical method was developed to measure TeCB, benzene, and cyclohexane in a solution of water and ethanol, 50:50 by volume before mixing, by gas chromatography with electron capture detection (ECD) and flame-ionization detection (FID). Experimental data were consistent with a model in which dehalogenation and hydrogenation were considered sequential processes with first order reaction kinetics.