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
Subject
Date Range
2011 2019


This research explores microbial chain elongation as a pathway for production of complex organic compounds in soils with implication for the carbon cycle. In chain elongation, simple substrates such as ethanol and short chain carboxylates such as acetate can be converted to longer carbon chain carboxylates under anaerobic conditions through cyclic, reverse β oxidation. This pathway elongates the carboxylate by two carbons. The chain elongation process is overall thermodynamically feasible, and microorganisms gain energy through this process. There have been limited insights into the versatility of chain elongating substrates, understanding the chain elongating microbial community, and its importance in sequestering …

Contributors
Joshi, Sayalee Milind, Delgado, Anca G, Torres, Cesar I, et al.
Created Date
2018

This dissertation investigates the mechanisms that lead to fouling, as well as how an understanding of how these mechanisms can be leveraged to mitigate fouling. To limit fouling on feed spacers, various coatings were applied. The results showed silver-coated biocidal spacers outperformed other spacers by all measures. The control polypropylene spacers performed in-line with, or better than, the other coatings. Polypropylene’s relative anti-adhesiveness is due to its surface free energy (SFE; 30.0 +/- 2.8 mN/m), which, according to previously generated models, is near the ideal SFE for resisting adhesion of bacteria and organics (~25 mN/m). Previous research has indicated that …

Contributors
Rice, Douglas, Perreault, Francois, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, et al.
Created Date
2019

Electro-Selective Fermentation (ESF) combines Selective Fermentation (SF) and a Microbial Electrolysis Cell (MEC) to selectively degrade carbohydrate and protein in lipid-rich microalgae biomass, enhancing lipid wet-extraction. In addition, saturated long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) are produced via β-oxidation. This dissertation builds understanding of the biochemical phenomena and microbial interactions occurring among fermenters, lipid biohydrogenaters, and anode respiring bacteria (ARB) in ESF. The work begins by proving that ESF is effective in enhancing lipid wet-extraction from Scenedesmus acutus biomass, while also achieving “biohydrogenation” to produce saturated LCFAs. Increasing anode respiration effectively scavenges short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) generated by fermentation, reducing electron …

Contributors
Liu, Yuanzhe, Rittmann, Bruce E, Torres, Cesar I, et al.
Created Date
2019

The world has been continuously urbanized and is currently accommodating more than half of the human population. Despite that cities cover only less than 3% of the Earth’s land surface area, they emerged as hotspots of anthropogenic activities. The drastic land use changes, complex three-dimensional urban terrain, and anthropogenic heat emissions alter the transport of mass, heat, and momentum, especially within the urban canopy layer. As a result, cities are confronting numerous environmental challenges such as exacerbated heat stress, frequent air pollution episodes, degraded water quality, increased energy consumption and water use, etc. Green infrastructure, in particular, the use of …

Contributors
Wang, Chenghao, Wang, Zhihua, Myint, Soe W., et al.
Created Date
2019

Uncertainty is inherent in predictive decision-making, both with respect to forecasting plausible future conditions based on a historic record, and with respect to backcasting likely upstream states from downstream observations. In the first chapter, I evaluated the status of current water resources management policy in the United States (U.S.) with respect to its integration of projective uncertainty into state-level flooding, drought, supply and demand, and climate guidance. I found uncertainty largely absent and discussed only qualitatively rather than quantitatively. In the second chapter, I turned to uncertainty in the interpretation of downstream observations as indicators of upstream behaviors in the …

Contributors
Hart, Olga, Halden, Rolf, Mascaro, Giuseppe, et al.
Created Date
2019

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 potential of using bio-geo-chemical processes for applications in geotechnical engineering has been widely explored in order to overcome the limitation of traditional ground improvement techniques. Biomineralization via urea hydrolysis, referred to as Microbial or Enzymatic Induced Carbonate Precipitation (MICP/EICP), has been shown to increase soil strength by stimulating precipitation of calcium carbonate minerals, bonding soil particles and filling the pores. Microbial Induced Desaturation and Precipitation (MIDP) via denitrification has also been studied for its potential to stabilize soils through mineral precipitation, but also through production of biogas, which can mitigate earthquake induced liquefaction by desaturation of the soil. Empirical …

Contributors
Kim, Daehyun, van Paassen, Leon, Kavazanjian, Edward, et al.
Created Date
2019

The study was to analyze the extent of bacterial transport in a two-dimensional tank under saturated conditions. The experiments were done in a 2-D tank packed with 3,700 in3 of fine grained, homogenous, chemically inert sand under saturated conditions. The tank used for transport was decontaminated by backwashing with 0.6% chlorine solution with subsequent backwashing with chlorine-neutral water (tap water and Na2S2O3) thus ensuring no residual chlorine in the tank. The transport of bacteria was measured using samples collected from ports at vertical distances of 5, 15 and 25 inches (12.7, 38.1 and 63.5 cm) from the surface of the …

Contributors
Mondal, Indrayudh, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Dahlen, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2019

This dissertation aims at developing novel materials and processing routes using alkali activated aluminosilicate binders for porous (lightweight) geopolymer matrices and 3D-printing concrete applications. The major research objectives are executed in different stages. Stage 1 includes developing synthesis routes, microstructural characterization, and performance characterization of a family of economical, multifunctional porous ceramics developed through geopolymerization of an abundant volcanic tuff (aluminosilicate mineral) as the primary source material. Metakaolin, silica fume, alumina powder, and pure silicon powder are also used as additional ingredients when necessary and activated by potassium-based alkaline agents. In Stage 2, a processing route was developed to synthesize …

Contributors
ALGHAMDI, HUSSAM SUHAIL, Neithalath, Narayanan, Rajan, Subramaniam, et al.
Created Date
2019

Humans are exposed up to thousands of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the environment, but most of the research and action has been directed towards only two PFAS compounds. These two compounds are part of a subcategory of PFAS called perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs). It has been a challenge for the environmental community to mitigate risks caused by PFAAs due to their high persistence and lack of effective measures to remove them from the environment, especially in heavily impacted areas like fire-training sites. The goal of this work was to further answer some questions regarding the removal of PFAAs in …

Contributors
del Moral, Lerys Laura, Boyer, Treavor, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, et al.
Created Date
2019

Zero-Valent Metals (ZVM) are highly reactive materials and have been proved to be effective in contaminant reduction in soils and groundwater remediation. In fact, zero-Valent Iron (ZVI) has proven to be very effective in removing, particularly chlorinated organics, heavy metals, and odorous sulfides. Addition of ZVI has also been proved in enhancing the methane gas generation in anaerobic digestion of activated sludge. However, no studies have been conducted regarding the effect of ZVM stimulation to Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) degradation. Therefore, a collaborative study was developed to manipulate microbial activity in the landfill bioreactors to favor methane production by adding …

Contributors
Pandit, Gandhar Abhay, Cadillo – Quiroz, Hinsby, Olson, Larry, et al.
Created Date
2019

The finite supply of current energy production materials has created opportunities for the investigation of alternative energy sources in many fields. One example is the use of microorganisms in bioenergy applications, such as microbial fuel cells. Present in many types of environments, microorganisms with the ability to respire solid electron acceptors have become of increasing relevance to alternative energy and wastewater treatment research. In this dissertation, several aspects of anode respiration are investigated, with the goal of increasing the limited understanding of the mechanisms of electron transport through the use of advanced electrochemical methods. Biofilms of Geobacter sulfurreducens, the model …

Contributors
Yoho, Rachel, Torres, César I, Rittmann, Bruce E, et al.
Created Date
2016

Trichloroethene (TCE) is a ubiquitous soil and groundwater contaminant. The most common bioremediation approach for TCE relies on the process of reductive dechlorination by Dehalococcoides mccartyi. D. mccartyi use TCE, dichloroethene, and vinyl chloride as electron acceptors and hydrogen as an electron donor. At contaminated sites, reductive dechlorination is typically promoted by adding a fermentable substrate, which is broken down to short chain fatty acids, simple alcohols, and hydrogen. This study explored microbial chain elongation (MCE), instead of fermentation, to promote TCE reductive dechlorination. In MCE, microbes use simple substrates (e.g., acetate, ethanol) to build medium chain fatty acids and …

Contributors
Robles, Aide, Delgado, Anca G., Torres, César I., et al.
Created Date
2019

The objective of this study was to evaluate possible bioremediation strategy for aerobic aquifers by combining ZVI chemical reduction and microbial reductive dechlorination for TCE and ClO4-. To achieve this objective, continuous flow-through soil columns were used to test the hypothesis that bioaugmentation with dechlorinating enrichment cultures downstream of the ZVI injection can lead to complete reduction of TCE and ClO4- in aerobic aquifers. We obtained soil and groundwater from a Superfund site in Arizona. The experiments consisted of 205 cm3 columns packed with soil and ZVI, which fed 1025 cm3 columns packed with soil, biostimulated with fermentable substrates and …

Contributors
Rao, Shefali, Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, Delgado, Anca G., et al.
Created Date
2019

The goal of this research was to study the effect of dilution on ammonium and potassium removal from real hydrolyzed urine. The performance of two natural zeolites, clinoptilolite and chabazite, was studied and compared with the help of batch equilibrium experiments at four dilution levels: 100%, 10%, 1% and 0.1% (urine volume/total solution volume). Further, the sorption behavior of other exchangeable ions (sodium, calcium and magnesium) in clinoptilolite and chabazite was studied to improve the understanding of ion exchange stoichiometry. Ammonium and potassium removal were highest at undiluted level in samples treated with clinoptilolite. This is a key finding as …

Contributors
Regmi, Urusha, Boyer, Treavor H, Delgado, Anca G, et al.
Created Date
2019

Mineral weathering and industrial activities cause elevated concentration of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) in groundwater, and this poses potential health concern (>10 ppb) to southwestern USA. The conversion of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) – a fairly soluble and non-toxic form at typical pH of groundwater is an effective method to control the mobility and carcinogenic effects of Cr(VI). In-situ chemical reduction using SnCl2 was investigated to initiate this redox process using jar testing with buffered ultrapure water and native Arizona groundwater spiked with varying Cr(VI) concentrations. Cr(VI) transformation by SnCl2 is super rapid (<60 seconds) and depends upon the molar dosage of …

Contributors
Nguyen, Duong Thanh, Westerhoff, Paul K, Delgado, Anca G, et al.
Created Date
2019

The built environment is responsible for a significant portion of global waste generation. Construction and demolition (C&D) waste requires significant landfill areas and costs billions of dollars. New business models that reduce this waste may prove to be financially beneficial and generally more sustainable. One such model is referred to as the “Circular Economy” (CE), which promotes the efficient use of materials to minimize waste generation and raw material consumption. CE is achieved by maximizing the life of materials and components and by reclaiming the typically wasted value at the end of their life. This thesis identifies the potential opportunities …

Contributors
Aldaaja, Mohammad, El Asmar, Mounir, Buch, Rajesh, et al.
Created Date
2019

Widespread use of chlorinated solvents for commercial and industrial purposes makes co-occurring contamination by 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA), trichloroethene (TCE), and 1,4-dioxane (1,4-D) a serious problem for groundwater. TCE and TCA often are treated by reductive dechlorination, while 1,4-D resists reductive treatment. Aerobic bacteria are able to oxidize 1,4-D, but the biological oxidation of 1,4-D could be inhibited TCA, TCE, and their reductive transformation products. To overcome the challenges from co-occurring contamination, I propose a two-stage synergistic system. First, anaerobic reduction of the chlorinated hydrocarbons takes place in a H2-based hollow-fiber “X-film” (biofilm or catalyst-coated film) reactor (MXfR), where “X-film” can be …

Contributors
LUO, YIHAO, Rittmann, Bruce E, Rittmann, Bruce E, et al.
Created Date
2018

This dissertation critically evaluated methodologies and devices for assessing and protecting the health of human populations, with particular emphasis on groundwater remediation and the use of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) to inform population health. A meta-analysis and assessment of laboratory-scale treatability studies for removing chlorinated solvents from groundwater found that sediment microcosms operated as continuous-flow columns are preferable to batch bottles when seeking to emulate with high fidelity the complex conditions prevailing in the subsurface in contaminated aquifers (Chapter 2). Compared to monitoring at the field-scale, use of column microcosms also showed (i) improved chemical speciation, and (ii) qualitative predictability of …

Contributors
Driver, Erin, Halden, Rolf, Conroy-Ben, Otakuye, et al.
Created Date
2018

One of the two objectives of this dissertation is an investigation into the possible correlation between rainfall events and increased levels of E. coli and Mycobacterium using an existing data set. The literature states that levels of microbial concentrations do increase after rainfall events, but there are no studies to indicate this correlation applies in any Arizona water systems. The data analyzed for the bacterial concentrations project suggested the possibility of a correlation along one river but it is not conclusive to state that any correlation exists between rainfall events and the microbial concentration for many other sites included in …

Contributors
Buell, Andrew, Fox, Peter, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, et al.
Created Date
2018