Skip to main content

ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Language
  • English
Status
  • Public
Date Range
2012 2020


Limited access to clean water due to natural or municipal disasters, drought, or contaminated wells is driving demand for point-of-use and humanitarian drinking water technologies. Atmospheric water capture (AWC) can provide water off the centralized grid by capturing water vapor in ambient air and condensing it to a liquid. The overarching goal of this dissertation was to define geographic and thermodynamic design boundary conditions for AWC and develop nanotechnology-enabled AWC technologies to produce clean drinking water. Widespread application of AWC is currently limited because water production, energy requirement, best technology, and water quality are not parameterized. I developed a geospatial …

Contributors
Mulchandani, Anjali, Westerhoff, Paul, Rittmann, Bruce, et al.
Created Date
2020

This study reports on the treatment of ammunition wastewater containing RDX (1,3,5-Trinitro-1,3,5-triazinane), HMX (1,3,5,7-Tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazoctane), and the oxyanion co-contaminants nitrate (NO3-) and perchlorate (ClO4-) in a membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR), a Palladium (Pd)-coated MBfR (Pd-MBfR), and an abiotic Pd-coated film reactor (Pd-film reactor). A consortium of nitrate- and perchlorate-reducing bacteria, continuously fed with synesthetic ammunition wastewater featuring 4 mM nitrate and 0.1-2 mM perchlorate, formed robust biofilms on the membrane surfaces in the MBfR and Pd-MBfR. PdNPs with diameter 4-5-nm auto-assembled and stabilized on the surfaces of membrane and biofilm in MPfR and Pd-MBfR. Nitrate and perchlorate were rapidly reduced by …

Contributors
Zheng, Chenwei, Rittmann, Bruce, Delgado, Anca, et al.
Created Date
2019

The dissimilatory reduction of nitrate, or denitrification, offers the potential of a sustainable, cost effective method for the non-disruptive mitigation of earthquake-induced soil liquefaction. Worldwide, trillions of dollars of infrastructure are at risk for liquefaction damage in earthquake prone regions. However, most techniques for remediating liquefiable soils are either not applicable to sites near existing infrastructure, or are prohibitively expensive. Recently, laboratory studies have shown the potential for biogeotechnical soil improvement techniques such as microbially induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) to mitigate liquefaction potential in a non-disruptive manner. Multiple microbial processes have been identified for MICP, but only two have been …

Contributors
O'Donnell, Sean Thomas, Kavazanjian, Edward, Rittmann, Bruce, et al.
Created Date
2016

To date, the production of algal biofuels is not economically sustainable due to the cost of production and the low cost of conventional fuels. As a result, interest has been shifting to high value products in the algae community to make up for the low economic potential of algal biofuels. The economic potential of high-value products does not however, eliminate the need to consider the environmental impacts. The majority of the environmental impacts associated with algal biofuels overlap with algal bioproducts in general (high-energy dewatering) due to the similarities in their production pathways. Selecting appropriate product sets is a critical …

Contributors
Barr, William James, Landis, Amy E, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2016

N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) is a probable human carcinogen and drinking water disinfection by-product. NDMA forms as the product of reactions between chloramines and precursor compounds in water. This dissertation aims to provide insight into the removal of NDMA precursors, their nature, and a method to aid in their identification. Watershed-derived precursors accounted for more of and greater variability to NDMA formation upon chloramination than polymer-derived precursors in environmental samples. Coagulation polymers are quaternary amines, which have low NDMA yield but high use rates. Watershed-derived precursors were removed up to 90% by sorption to activated carbon, but activated carbon exhibited much less …

Contributors
Hanigan, David, Westerhoff, Paul, Rittmann, Bruce, et al.
Created Date
2015

The unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 contains a NiFe-type bidirectional hydrogenase that is capable of using reducing equivalents to reduce protons and generate H¬2. In order to achieve sustained H2 production using this cyanobacterium many challenges need to be overcome. Reported H2 production from Synechocystis is of low rate and often transient. Results described in this dissertation show that the hydrogenase activity in Synechocystis is quite different during periods of darkness and light. In darkness, the hydrogenase enzyme acts in a truly bidirectional way and a particular H2 concentration is reached that depends upon the amount of biomass involved …

Contributors
Dutta, Ipsita, Vermaas, Willem FJ, Garcia-Pichel, Ferran, et al.
Created Date
2015

Microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) offer an alternative to methane production in anaerobic water treatment and the recapture of energy in waste waters. MXCs use anode respiring bacteria (ARB) to oxidize organic compounds and generate electrical current. In both anaerobic digestion and MXCs, an anaerobic food web connects the metabolisms of different microorganisms, using hydrolysis, fermentation and either methanogenesis or anode respiration to break down organic compounds, convert them to acetate and hydrogen, and then convert those intermediates into either methane or current. In this dissertation, understanding and managing the interactions among fermenters, methanogens, and ARB were critical to making developments …

Contributors
Miceli, Joseph Francis, Torres, César I, Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, et al.
Created Date
2015

The production and applications of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) has increased rapidly in the last decade, with release of ENM to the environment through the sewer system and municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) being of concern. Currently, the literature on ENM release from WWTPs and removal of ENM by WWTPs is insufficient and disorganized. There is little quantitative data on the removal of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), graphene oxide (GO), or few-layer graphene (FLG), from wastewater onto biomass. The removal of pristine and oxidized MWCNTs (O-MWCNTs), graphene oxide (GO), few-layer graphene (FLG) and Tween™ 20-coated Ag ENM by the interaction with …

Contributors
Yu, Zhicheng, Westerhoff, Paul, Rittmann, Bruce, et al.
Created Date
2015

In enzyme induced carbonate precipitation (EICP), calcium carbonate (CaCO3) precipitation is catalyzed by plant-derived urease enzyme. In EICP, urea hydrolyzes into ammonia and inorganic carbon, altering geochemical conditions in a manner that promotes carbonate mineral precipitation. The calcium source in this process comes from calcium chloride (CaCl2) in aqueous solution. Research work conducted for this dissertation has demonstrated that EICP can be employed for a variety of geotechnical purposes, including mass soil stabilization, columnar soil stabilization, and stabilization of erodible surficial soils. The research presented herein also shows that the optimal ratio of urea to CaCl2 at ionic strengths of …

Contributors
Hamdan, Nasser, Kavazanjian Jr., Edward, Rittmann, Bruce, et al.
Created Date
2015

Nitrate, a widespread contaminant in surface water, can cause eutrophication and toxicity to aquatic organisms. To augment the nitrate-removal capacity of constructed wetlands, I applied the H2-based Membrane Biofilm Reactor (MBfR) in a novel configuration called the in situ MBfR (isMBfR). The goal of my thesis is to evaluate and model the nitrate removal performance for a bench-scale isMBfR system. I operated the bench-scale isMBfR system in 7 different conditions to evaluate its nitrate-removal performance. When I supplied H2 with the isMBfR (stages 1 - 6), I observed at least 70% nitrate removal, and almost all of the denitrification occurred …

Contributors
Li, Yizhou, Rittmann, Bruce, Vivoni, Enrique, et al.
Created Date
2014

Some cyanobacteria can generate hydrogen (H2) under certain physiological conditions and are considered potential agents for biohydrogen production. However, they also present low amounts of H2 production, a reaction reversal towards H2 consumption, and O2 sensitivity. Most attempts to improve H2 production have involved genetic or metabolic engineering approaches. I used a bio-prospecting approach instead to find novel strains that are naturally more apt for biohydrogen production. A set of 36, phylogenetically diverse strains isolated from terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments were probed for their potential to produce H2 from excess reductant. Two distinct patterns in H2 production were detected. …

Contributors
Kothari, Ankita, Garcia-Pichel, Ferran, Vermaas, Willem F J, et al.
Created Date
2013

This work focuses on a generalized assessment of source zone natural attenuation (SZNA) at chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbon (CAH) impacted sites. Given the numbers of sites and technical challenges for cleanup there is a need for a SZNA method at CAH impacted sites. The method anticipates that decision makers will be interested in the following questions: 1-Is SZNA occurring and what processes contribute? 2-What are the current SZNA rates? 3-What are the longer-term implications? The approach is macroscopic and uses multiple lines-of-evidence. An in-depth application of the generalized non-site specific method over multiple site events, with sampling refinement approaches applied for …

Contributors
Ekre, Ryan, Johnson, Paul Carr, Rittmann, Bruce, et al.
Created Date
2013

Biofuel from microbial biomass is a viable alternative to current energy production practices that could mitigate greenhouse gas levels and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. Sustainable production of microbial biomass requires efficient utilization of nutrients like phosphorus (P). P is a limited resource which is vital for global food security. This paper seeks to understand the fate of P through biofuel production and proposes a proof-of-concept process to recover P from microbial biomass. The photosynthetic cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 is found to contain 1.4% P by dry weight. After the crude lipids are extracted for biofuel processing, 92% of …

Contributors
Gifford, James Mckay, Westerhoff, Paul, Rittmann, Bruce, et al.
Created Date
2012

Population growth and fresh water depletion challenge drinking water utilities. Surface water quality is impacted significantly by climate variability, human activities, and extreme events like natural disasters. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is an important water quality index and the precursor of disinfection by-products (DBPs) that varies with both hydrologic and anthropogenic factors. Granular activated carbon (GAC) is a best available technology for utilities to meet Stage 2 D/DBP rule compliance and to remove contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) (e.g., pharmaceutical, personal care products (PCPs), etc.). Utilities can operate GAC with more efficient and flexible strategies with the understanding of organic …

Contributors
Chiu, Chao-An, Westerhoff, Paul, Rittmann, Bruce, et al.
Created Date
2012

As engineered nanomaterials (NMs) become used in industry and commerce their loading to sewage will increase. However, the fate of widely used NMs in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) remains poorly understood. In this research, sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) were operated with hydraulic (HRT) and sludge (SRT) retention times representative of full-scale biological WWTPs for several weeks. NM loadings at the higher range of expected environmental concentrations were selected. To achieve the pseudo-equilibrium state concentration of NMs in biomass, SBR experiments needed to operate for more than three times the SRT value, approximately 18 days. Under the conditions tested, NMs had …

Contributors
Wang, Yifei, Westerhoff, Paul, Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, et al.
Created Date
2012