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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.


Subject
Date Range
2011 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

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

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

C.C. Cragin Reservoir’s location in the Coconino National Forest, Arizona makes it prone to wild fire. This study focused on the potential impacts of such a wild fire on the reservoir’s annual thermal stratification cycle impacts and water quality. The annual thermal stratification cycle impacted the reservoir’s water quality by increasing hypolimnion concentrations of magnesium, iron, turbidity, and specific ultraviolet absorbance (SUVA) values, as well as resulting in the hypolimnion having decreased dissolved oxygen concentrations during stratified months. The scarification process did not affect the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations in the reservoir or the total/dissolved nitrogen and phosphorous concentrations. …

Contributors
Flatebo, Theodore, Westerhoff, Paul K, Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2018

Microbial electrochemical cells (MxCs) are a novel technology that use anode-respiring bacteria (ARB) to bioremediate wastewaters and respire an electrical current, which can then be used directly to produce value-added products like hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Ninety-five percent of the world’s H2O2 is currently produced using the anthraquinone process, whose production requires expensive and potentially carcinogenic catalysts and high amounts of electricity. However, the amount of H2O2 that can be produced from these microbial peroxide-producing cells (MPPCs) has not been thoroughly investigated. Predicting potential H2O2 production in MxCs is further complicated by a lack of mathematical models to predict performance utilizing …

Contributors
Young, Michelle Nichole, Rittmann, Bruce E, Torres, Cesar I, et al.
Created Date
2018

Radioactive cesium (137Cs), released from nuclear power plants and nuclear accidental releases, is a problem due to difficulties regarding its removal. Efforts have been focused on removing cesium and the remediation of the contaminated environment. Traditional treatment techniques include Prussian blue and nano zero-valent ion (nZVI) and nano-Fe/Cu particles to remove Cs from water; however, they are not efficient at removing Cs when present at low concentrations of about 10 parts-per-billion (ppb), typical of concentrations found in the radioactive contaminated sites. The objective of this study was to develop an innovative and simple method to remove Cs+ present at low …

Contributors
Hakim Elahi, Sepideh, Conroy-Ben, Otakuye, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, et al.
Created Date
2018

Iodide (I-) in surface and groundwaters is a potential precursor for the formation of iodinated disinfection by-products (I-DBPs) during drinking water treatment. The aim of this thesis is to provide a perspective on the sources and occurrence of I- in United States (US) source waters based on ~9200 surface water (SW) and groundwater (GW) sampling locations. The median I- concentrations observed was 16 μg/l and 14 μg/l, respectively in SW and GW. However, these samples were rarely collected at water treatment plant (WTP) intakes, where such iodide occurrence data is needed to understand impacts on DBPs. Most samples were collected …

Contributors
Sharma, Naushita, Westerhoff, Paul, Lackner, Klaus, et al.
Created Date
2018

Fossil fuel CO2 (FFCO2) emissions are recognized as the dominant greenhouse gas driving climate change (Enting et. al., 1995; Conway et al., 1994; Francey et al., 1995; Bousquet et. al., 1999). Transportation is a major component of FFCO2 emissions, especially in urban areas. An improved understanding of on-road FFCO2 emission at high spatial resolution is essential to both carbon science and mitigation policy. Though considerable research has been accomplished within a few high-income portions of the planet such as the United States and Western Europe, little work has attempted to comprehensively quantify high-resolution on-road FFCO2 emissions globally. Key questions for …

Contributors
Song, Yang, Gurney, Kevin, Kuby, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2018

Engineered nanoparticles (NPs) pose risk potentials, if they exist in water systems at significant concentrations and if they remain reactive to cause toxicity. Three goals guided this study: (1) establishing NP detecting methods with high sensitivity to tackle low concentration and small sizes, (2) achieving assays capable of measuring NP surface reactivity and identifying surface reaction mechanisms, and (3) understanding the impact of surface adsorption of ions on surface reactivity of NPs in water. The size detection limit of single particle inductively coupled plasma spectrometry (spICP-MS) was determined for 40 elements, demonstrating the feasibility of spICP-MS to different NP species …

Contributors
Bi, Xiangyu, Westerhoff, Paul K, Rittmann, Bruce E, et al.
Created Date
2018

Electrospinning is a means of fabricating micron-scale diameter fiber networks with enmeshed nanomaterials. Polymeric nanocomposites for water treatment require the manipulation of fiber morphology to expose nanomaterial surface area while anchoring the nanomaterials and maintaining fiber integrity; that is the overarching goal of this dissertation. The first investigation studied the effect of metal oxide nanomaterial loadings on electrospinning process parameters such as critical voltage, viscosity, fiber diameter, and nanomaterial distribution. Increases in nanomaterial loading below 5% (w/v) were not found to affect critical voltage or fiber diameter. Nanomaterial dispersion was conserved throughout the process. Arsenic adsorption tests determined that the …

Contributors
Hoogesteijn von Reitzenstein, Natalia Virginia, Westerhoff, Paul, Hristovski, Kiril, et al.
Created Date
2018

Petroleum contamination is ubiquitous during extraction, transportation, refining, and storage. Contamination damages the soil’s ecosystem function, reduces its aesthetics, and poses a potential threat to human beings. The overall goals of this dissertation are to advance understanding of the mechanisms behind ozonation of petroleum-contaminated soil and to configure an effective integrated bioremediation + ozonation remedial strategy to remove the overall organic carbon. Using a soil column, I conducted batch ozonation experiments for different soils and at different moisture levels. I measured multiple parameters: e.g., total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), to build a full understanding of the …

Contributors
Chen, Tengfei, Rittmann, Bruce E, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2018

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

Quagga mussels are an aquatic invasive species capable of causing economic and ecological damage. Despite the quagga mussels’ ability to rapidly spread, two watersheds, the Salt River system and the Verde River system of Arizona, both had no quagga mussel detections for 8 years. The main factor thought to deter quagga mussels was the stratification of the two watersheds during the summer, resulting in high temperatures in the epilimnion and low dissolved oxygen in the hypolimnion. In 2015, Canyon Lake, a reservoir of the Salt River watershed, tested positive for quagga mussel veligers. In this study, I used Landsat 7 …

Contributors
Lau, Theresa, Fox, Peter, Neuer, Susanne, et al.
Created Date
2018

Legionella pneumophila is a waterborne pathogen that causes Legionnaires' disease, an infection which can lead to potentially fatal pneumonia. In a culture-based technique, Legionella is detected using buffered charcoal-yeast extract (BCYE) agar supplemented with L-cysteine, Iron salt and antibiotics. These supplements provide essential and complex nutrient requirements and help in the suppression of non-target bacteria in Legionella analysis. Legionella occurs naturally in freshwater environments and for their detection; a sample is plated on solid agar media and then incubated for several days. There are many challenges in the detection of Legionella in environmental waters and the built environments. A common …

Contributors
Aloraini, Saleh, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2018

Specific inorganic and organic pollutants in water (As(V), Cr(VI), THMs, and hardness) cause health concerns or aesthetic problems. The goal of this dissertation is to demonstrate novel approaches to improve the performance of point of use and municipal activated carbon processes to provide safe and reliable water to the public at distributed centralized locations. Template Assisted Crystallization system would adjust saturation index (SI) value of TAC treated water to zero when SI value of influent water was in the range at 0.08~0.3. However, the reduction in SI when SI values were higher (e.g. 0.7~1.3) was similar to the reduction at …

Contributors
Lee, Heuidae, Westerhoff, Paul, Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2018