Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Duane R. Hampton

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Barcelona

Third Advisor

Dr. Alan Kehew

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Most free product hydrocarbon recovery wells are filter packed in order to prevent aquifer material from entering the well and to increase their effective diameter. Historically there are five factors in filter pack designs: grain size, grain shape, mineralogy, uniformity, and the filter pack diameter. Previous laboratory experiments found that filter packs treated with a water repellant chemical could dramatically improve well performance. This adds wettability as a sixth factor.

A desorption experiment was conducted to determine the feasibility of using a chemically treated filter pack in the subsurface. Analytical results of the leachate from the chemically treated sand indicated the presence of aromatic petroleum hydrocarbons.

A laboratory experiment was initiated to assess the response of four filter pack designs. The four filter packs used were, untreated Colorado Silica sand, treated Colorado Silica sand, uniform granular TeflonTM, and non-uniform granular Teflon™. The performance of each filter was evaluated by measuring the initial volume of hydrocarbons purged, the rate of hydrocarbon recovery following the purging event, and the percent of recovery over a specified period of time.

Results indicated that the filter packs performed in the following sequence of effectiveness (least to most) for free product recovery: untreated Colorado sand, treated Colorado sand, uniform granular TeflonTM, and non-uniform granular TeflonTM.

Included in

Geology Commons