Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases

Effective diffusion coefficient


"Methamphetamine is a drug of abuse in the United States and it is frequently produced in residential "meth labs." During a specific cooking stage called "salting out", a high concentration of methamphetamine is released into the air and can accumulate on and within indoor surfaces. Even after remediation, methamphetamine and other chemicals can be released into the occupied space by diffusion and desorption from insulation and painted drywall. To better understand the emission characteristics of methamphetamine, the diffusion coefficient of n- isopropylbenzylamine (NIBA; an isomer and surrogate for methamphetamine) was measured in latex painted drywall. To quantify the diffusion coefficient, the flux of NIBA through a painted drywall specimen was measured using a modified "cup method" and a flow-through chamber. Water was used as a control to validate the method. The steady state effective diffusion coefficient of NIBA for painted drywall was found to be 2.1 ± 1.4 x 10⁻⁷ m²/sec and the estimated effective diffusion coefficient of paint was e.0 x 10⁻⁹ m²/sec. Also measured was the partition coefficient of NIBA to two different types of cavity insulation. Accumulation and release of methamphetamine was simulated using a mass balance model of wall cavities and an entire house. For an illegal lab that operates continuously for 2 weeks in a small house, greater than 10 grams of methamphetamine can accumulate behind walls in the cavity insulation. It would require several months to years to deplete this reservoir if the accumulated methamphetamine is emitted at rates resulting in "safe" indoor concentrations. During the initial period following the cooking activity the daily dose for an adult can start as high as 120 µg/kg/day and decreases for months until it reaches a safe dose"--Abstract, Page iii.


Morrison, Glenn

Committee Member(s)

Burken, Joel G. (Joel Gerard)
Ludlow, Douglas K.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Environmental Engineering


National Institute of Standards and Technology (U.S.)


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2012


xiii, 96 pages


© 2012 Nishanthini Vijayakumar Shakila, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Methamphetamine -- Environmental aspects
Swellings -- Insulation

Thesis Number

T 10075

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #