Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Judith A. Perlinger


Measurement and modeling techniques were developed to improve over-water gaseous air-water exchange measurements for persistent bioaccumulative and toxic chemicals (PBTs). Analytical methods were applied to atmospheric measurements of hexachlorobenzene (HCB), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Additionally, the sampling and analytical methods are well suited to study semivolatile organic compounds (SOCs) in air with applications related to secondary organic aerosol formation, urban, and indoor air quality.

A novel gas-phase cleanup method is described for use with thermal desorption methods for analysis of atmospheric SOCs using multicapillary denuders. The cleanup selectively removed hydrogen-bonding chemicals from samples, including much of the background matrix of oxidized organic compounds in ambient air, and thereby improved precision and method detection limits for nonpolar analytes.

A model is presented that predicts gas collection efficiency and particle collection artifact for SOCs in multicapillary denuders using polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) sorbent. An approach is presented to estimate the equilibrium PDMS-gas partition coefficient (Kpdms) from an Abraham solvation parameter model for any SOC.

A high flow rate (300 L min-1) multicapillary denuder was designed for measurement of trace atmospheric SOCs. Overall method precision and detection limits were determined using field duplicates and compared to the conventional high-volume sampler method. The high-flow denuder is an alternative to high-volume or passive samplers when separation of gas and particle-associated SOCs upstream of a filter and short sample collection time are advantageous.

A Lagrangian internal boundary layer transport exchange (IBLTE) Model is described. The model predicts the near-surface variation in several quantities with fetch in coastal, offshore flow: 1) modification in potential temperature and gas mixing ratio, 2) surface fluxes of sensible heat, water vapor, and trace gases using the NOAA COARE Bulk Algorithm and Gas Transfer Model, 3) vertical gradients in potential temperature and mixing ratio. The model was applied to interpret micrometeorological measurements of air-water exchange flux of HCB and several PCB congeners in Lake Superior. The IBLTE Model can be applied to any scalar, including water vapor, carbon dioxide, dimethyl sulfide, and other scalar quantities of interest with respect to hydrology, climate, and ecosystem science.