Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Duane R. Hampton

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Kehew

Third Advisor

Dr. William Sauck

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Multiple field experiments were conducted to determine the performance of hydrophobic filter packs, compared to the hydrophilic industry standard filter pack in free product hydrocarbon recovery. Laboratory and field studies have been previously performed in support of enhancing free product hydrocarbon recovery with the use of hydrophobic filter pack designs. This study was an attempt to test the efficacy of using hydrophobic filter pack materials to enhance free product recovery.

Six recovery wells were installed at three field sites, each site utilizing a pair of recovery wells, one hydrophobic and one hydrophilic, to compare their performances. Fine-grained hydrophobic filter pack sands were not as effective as the currently used coarse-grained "industry standard" or hydrophilic filter packs in recovering free product. Two of the three hydrophobic filter packs were not in the recommended grain size distributions range, and spatial differences at one site probably lead to these results. All hydrophobic filter-packed wells had less free product thickness variation than corresponding standard wells. Thus hydrophobic wells may be better suited to monitor the presence of free product at sites with variable water table elevations. The difficulty of obtaining hydrophobic filter pack materials of different grain size and the additional cost of installing pilot holes makes this idea of using hydrophobic filter-packed wells for free product recovery essentially impractical for the environmental industry.

Included in

Geology Commons