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Final Progress Reports: Brown University: Vapor Pressures and Thermodynamic Properties of Complex Organic Containing Mixtures

Superfund Research Program

Vapor Pressures and Thermodynamic Properties of Complex Organic Containing Mixtures

Project Leader: Eric M. Suuberg
Grant Number: P42ES013660
Funding Period: 2005-2009

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Final Progress Reports

Year:   2008 

The specific aims of this project include 1. Performing vapor pressure measurements on pure polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAC) and mixtures of these. 2. examining how vapor pressure behavior is influenced by environmental variables that characterize superfund sites. 3. examining how current physical property and mixture models can be used and/or modified to describe the behavior of such systems. 4. using the data obtained to understand how the superfund site will respond to different influences, both natural as well as remediation processes. and 5. working with the RI DEM to help them understand vapor exposure issues at sites that they manage.

The measurements on pure compounds were largely completed in prior years, though new compounds frequently come to the attention of Dr. Eric Suuberg and his research team, and thus they continue to make pure compound measurements. There have already been three journal articles published on the properties of pure PACs, and another on mixtures. In addition, preprints have been published on the mixture properties at the fall 2008 American Chemical Society national meeting and one is scheduled for the upcoming spring 2009 meeting. The work has contributed substantially to the base of literature on vapor pressures and thermodynamic properties of PACs and the effects of substituent groups on PAH properties.

The work on characterizing actual mixtures from contaminated sites has required modification of the effusion technique to permit non-isothermal characterization of the actual mixtures, which are more complicated than the mixtures prepared in the laboratory. This has required some significant modifications to the effusion equipment, and development of some new procedures. The team is now prepared to begin these difficult measurements with actual MGP tars and contaminated soils.

A doctroal student, Jillian Goldfarb, competed and defended her thesis on the pure PAC and mixture topic. She has now moved on to a teaching position at Simmons College in Boston.

The work on this project remains closely coupled to that described in the Research Translation core, on the topic of Vapor Intrusion. That work will be separately discussed in the core summary.

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