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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


As the use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in consumer products becomes more common, the amount of ENMs entering wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) increases. Investigating the fate of ENMs in WWTPs is critical for risk assessment and pollution control. The objectives of this dissertation were to (1) quantify and characterize titanium (Ti) in full-scale wastewater treatment plants, (2) quantify sorption of different ENMs to wastewater biomass in laboratory-scale batch reactors, (3) evaluate the use of a standard, soluble-pollutant sorption test method for quantifying ENM interaction with wastewater biomass, and (4) develop a mechanistic model of a biological wastewater treatment reactor to …

Contributors
Kiser, Mehlika Ayla, Westerhoff, Paul K, Rittmann, Bruce E, et al.
Created Date
2011

Filtration for microfluidic sample-collection devices is desirable for sample selection, concentration, preprocessing, and downstream manipulation, but microfabricating the required sub-micrometer filtration structure is an elaborate process. This thesis presents a simple method to fabricate polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) devices with an integrated membrane filter that will sample, lyse, and extract the DNA from microorganisms in aqueous environments. An off-the-shelf membrane filter disc was embedded in a PDMS layer and sequentially bound with other PDMS channel layers. No leakage was observed during filtration. This device was validated by concentrating a large amount of cyanobacterium Synechocystis in simulated sample water with consistent performance across …

Contributors
Lecluse, Aurelie, Meldrum, Deirdre, Chao, Joseph, et al.
Created Date
2011

As the demand for power increases in populated areas, so will the demand for water. Current power plant technology relies heavily on the Rankine cycle in coal, nuclear and solar thermal power systems which ultimately use condensers to cool the steam in the system. In dry climates, the amount of water to cool off the condenser can be extremely large. Current wet cooling technologies such as cooling towers lose water from evaporation. One alternative to prevent this would be to implement a radiative cooling system. More specifically, a system that utilizes the volumetric radiation emission from water to the night …

Contributors
Overmann, William, Phelan, Patrick, Trimble, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2011

A recent joint study by Arizona State University and the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) was conducted to evaluate certain Warm Mix Asphalt (WMA) properties in the laboratory. WMA material was taken from an actual ADOT project that involved two WMA sections. The first section used a foamed-based WMA admixture, and the second section used a chemical-based WMA admixture. The rest of the project included control hot mix asphalt (HMA) mixture. The evaluation included testing of field-core specimens and laboratory compacted specimens. The laboratory specimens were compacted at two different temperatures; 270 °F (132 °C) and 310 °F (154 °C). …

Contributors
Alossta, Abdulaziz Abdallah, Kaloush, Kamil E, Witczak, Matthew W, et al.
Created Date
2011

To address sustainability issues in wastewater treatment (WWT), Siemens Water Technologies (SWT) has designed a "hybrid" process that couples common activated sludge (AS) and anaerobic digestion (AD) technologies with the novel concepts of AD sludge recycle and biosorption. At least 85% of the hybrid's AD sludge is recycled to the AS process, providing additional sorbent for influent particulate chemical oxygen demand (PCOD) biosorption in contact tanks. Biosorbed PCOD is transported to the AD, where it is converted to methane. The aim of this study is to provide mass balance and microbial community analysis (MCA) of SWT's two hybrid and one …

Contributors
Young, Michelle Nichole, Rittmann, Bruce E., Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2011

Lipids and free fatty acids (FFA) from cyanobacterium Synechocystis can be used for biofuel (e.g. biodiesel or renewable diesel) production. In order to utilize and scale up this technique, downstream processes including culturing and harvest, cell disruption, and extraction were studied. Several solvents/solvent systems were screened for lipid extraction from Synechocystis. Chloroform + methanol-based Folch and Bligh & Dyer methods were proved to be "gold standard" for small-scale analysis due to their highest lipid recoveries that were confirmed by their penetration of the cell membranes, higher polarity, and stronger interaction with hydrogen bonds. Less toxic solvents, such as methanol and …

Contributors
Sheng, Jie, Rittmann, Bruce E, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2011

Second-generation biofuel feedstocks are currently grown in land-based systems that use valuable resources like water, electricity and fertilizer. This study investigates the potential of near-shore marine (ocean) seawater filtration as a source of planktonic biomass for biofuel production. Mixed marine organisms in the size range of 20µm to 500µm were isolated from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) seawater filtration system during weekly backwash events between the months of April and August, 2011. The quantity of organic material produced was determined by sample combustion and calculation of ash-free dry weights. Qualitative investigation required density gradient separation with the heavy …

Contributors
Pierre, Christoph Roger, Olson, Larry, Sommerfeld, Milton, et al.
Created Date
2011

DehaloR^2 is a previously characterized, trichloroethene (TCE)-dechlorinating culture and contains bacteria from the known dechlorinating genus, Dehalococcoides. DehaloR^2 was exposed to three anthropogenic contaminants, Triclocarban (TCC), tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP), and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) and two biogenic-like halogenated compounds, 2,6-dibromophenol (2,6-DBP) and 2,6-dichlorophenol (2,6-DCP). The effects on TCE dechlorination ability due to 2,6-DBP and 2,6-DCP exposures were also investigated. DehaloR^2 did not dechlorinate TCC or TCEP. After initial exposure to TCA, half of the initial TCA was dechlorinated to 1,1-dichloroethane (DCA), however half of the TCA remained by day 100. Subsequent TCA and TCE re-exposure showed no reductive dechlorination activity for both …

Contributors
Kegerreis, Kylie Lynn, Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, Halden, Rolf U, et al.
Created Date
2012

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

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are central to atmospheric chemistry and have significant impacts on the environment. The reaction of oxygenated VOCs with OH radicals was first studied to understand the fate of oxygenated VOCs. The rate constants of the gas-phase reaction of OH radicals with trans-2-hexenal, trans-2-octenal, and trans-2 nonenal were determined using the relative rate technique. Then the interactions between VOCs and ionic liquid surfaces were studied. The goal was to find a material to selectively detect alcohol compounds. Computational chemistry calculations were performed to investigate the interactions of ionic liquids with different classes of VOCs. The thermodynamic data …

Contributors
Gao, Tingting, Andino, Jean M, Forzani, Erica, et al.
Created Date
2012

This doctoral thesis investigates the predictability characteristics of floods and flash floods by coupling high resolution precipitation products to a distributed hydrologic model. The research hypotheses are tested at multiple watersheds in the Colorado Front Range (CFR) undergoing warm-season precipitation. Rainfall error structures are expected to propagate into hydrologic simulations with added uncertainties by model parameters and initial conditions. Specifically, the following science questions are addressed: (1) What is the utility of Quantitative Precipitation Estimates (QPE) for high resolution hydrologic forecasts in mountain watersheds of the CFR?, (2) How does the rainfall-reflectivity relation determine the magnitude of errors when radar …

Contributors
Moreno, Hernan A., Vivoni, Enrique R., Ruddell, Benjamin L., et al.
Created Date
2012

Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is one of the important mitigation options for climate change. Numerous technologies to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) are in development but currently, capture using amines is the predominant technology. When the flue gas reacts with amines (Monoethanaloamine) the CO2 is absorbed into the solution and forms an intermediate product which then releases CO2 at higher temperature. The high temperature necessary to strip CO2 is provided by steam extracted from the powerplant thus reducing the net output of the powerplant by 25% to 35%. The reduction in electricity output for the same input of coal increases …

Contributors
Sekar, Ashok, Williams, Eric, Chester, Mikhail, et al.
Created Date
2012

Perpetual Pavements, if properly designed and rehabilitated, it can last longer than 50 years without major structural rehabilitation. Fatigue endurance limit is a key parameter for designing perpetual pavements to mitigate bottom-up fatigue cracking. The endurance limit has not been implemented in the Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design Guide software, currently known as DARWin-ME. This study was conducted as part of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Project 9-44A to develop a framework and mathematical methodology to determine the fatigue endurance limit using the uniaxial fatigue test. In this procedure, the endurance limit is defined as the allowable tensile strains …

Contributors
Zeiada, Waleed Abdelaziz Mohammed, Kaloush, Kamil E, Witczak, Matthew W, et al.
Created Date
2012

Water quality in surface water is frequently degraded by fecal contamination from human and animal sources, imposing negative implications for recreational water use and public safety. For this reason it is critical to identify the source of fecal contamination in bodies of water in order to take proper corrective actions for controlling fecal pollution. Bacteroides genetic markers have been widely used to differentiate human from other sources of fecal bacteria in water. The results of this study indicate that many assays currently used to detect human-specific Bacteroides produce false positive results in the presence of freshwater fish. To further characterize …

Contributors
Kabiri, Leila, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Bingham, Scott, et al.
Created Date
2012

Nanotechnology is a scientific field that has recently expanded due to its applications in pharmaceutical and personal care products, industry and agriculture. As result of this unprecedented growth, nanoparticles (NPs) have become a significant environmental contaminant, with potential to impact various forms of life in environment. Metal nanoparticles (mNPs) exhibit unique properties such as increased chemical reactivity due to high specific surface area to volume ratios. Bacteria play a major role in many natural and engineered biogeochemical reactions in wastewater treatment plants and other environmental compartments. I have evaluated the laboratory isolates of E. coli, Bacillus, Alcaligenes, Pseudomonas; wastewater isolates …

Contributors
Alboloushi, Ali, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Alum, Absar, et al.
Created Date
2012

Bacteroides have been suggested as alternative indicators of fecal pollution since they are highly abundant in feces and are thought to have limited potential to grow in environment. However, recent literature suggests that Bacteroides can potentially survive within water distribution systems. The first objective of this study was therefore to investigate the validity of Bacteroides as a fecal indicator for drinking water through laboratory experiments and field studies. Experiments were performed using a laboratory scale PVC model water distribution system that was spiked with 109 Bacteroides. Samples were collected over the following four and analyzed by culture and molecular-based techniques. …

Contributors
Dunkin, Nathan, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Alum, Absar, et al.
Created Date
2012

The presence of compounds such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the environment is a cause for concern as they exhibit secondary effects on non-target organisms and are also indicative of incomplete removal by wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) during water reclamation. Analytical methods and predictive models can help inform on the rates at which these contaminants enter the environment via biosolids use or wastewater effluent release to estimate the risk of adverse effects. The goals of this research project were to integrate the results obtained from the two different methods of risk assessment, (a) in silico modeling and …

Contributors
Prakash Chari, Bipin, Halden, Rolf U, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2012

Ecolabels are the main driving force of consumer knowledge in the realm of sustainable product purchasing. While ecolabels strive to improve consumer's purchasing decisions, they have overwhelmed the market, leaving consumers confused and distrustful of what each label means. This study attempts to validate and understand environmental concerns commonly found in ecolabel criteria and the implications they have within the life cycle of a product. A life cycle assessment (LCA) case study of cosmetic products is used in comparison with current ecolabel program criteria to assess whether or not ecolabels are effectively driving environmental improvements in high impact areas throughout …

Contributors
Bernardo, Melissa Anna, Dooley, Kevin, Chester, Mikhail, et al.
Created Date
2012

Electronic waste (E-waste) is a concern, because of the increasing volume of materials being disposed of. There are economical, social and environmental implications derived from these materials. For example, the international trade of used computers creates jobs, but the recovery from valuable materials is technically challenging and currently there are environmental and health problems derived from inappropriate recycling practices. Forecasting the flows of used computers and e-waste materials supports the prevention of environmental impacts. However, the nature of these material flows is complex. There are technological geographical and cultural factors that affect how users purchase, store or dispose of their …

Contributors
Estrada Ayub, Jesus Angel, Allenby, Braden R, Ramzy, Kahhat A, et al.
Created Date
2012

In this work, the vapor transport and aerobic bio-attenuation of compounds from a multi-component petroleum vapor mixture were studied for six idealized lithologies in 1.8-m tall laboratory soil columns. Columns representing different geological settings were prepared using 20-40 mesh sand (medium-grained) and 16-minus mesh crushed granite (fine-grained). The contaminant vapor source was a liquid composed of twelve petroleum hydrocarbons common in weathered gasoline. It was placed in a chamber at the bottom of each column and the vapors diffused upward through the soil to the top where they were swept away with humidified gas. The experiment was conducted in three …

Contributors
Escobar Melendez, Elsy Alejandrina, Johnson, Paul C., Andino, Jean, 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

Contamination by chlorinated ethenes is widespread in groundwater aquifers, sediment, and soils worldwide. The overarching objectives of my research were to understand how the bacterial genus Dehalococcoides function optimally to carry out reductive dechlorination of chlorinated ethenes in a mixed microbial community and then apply this knowledge to manage dechlorinating communities in the hydrogen-based membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR). The MBfR is used for the biological reduction of oxidized contaminants in water using hydrogen supplied as the electron donor by diffusion through gas-transfer fibers. First, I characterized a new anaerobic dechlorinating community developed in our laboratory, named DehaloR^2, in terms of …

Contributors
Ziv-El, Michal, Rittmann, Bruce E, Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, et al.
Created Date
2012

The overall goal of this dissertation is to advance understanding of biofilm reduction of oxidized contaminants in water and wastewater. Chapter 1 introduces the fundamentals of biological reduction of three oxidized contaminants (nitrate, perchlorate, and trichloriethene (TCE)) using two biofilm processes (hydrogen-based membrane biofilm reactors (MBfR) and packed-bed heterotrophic reactors (PBHR)), and it identifies the research objectives. Chapters 2 through 6 focus on nitrate removal using the MBfR and PBHR, while chapters 7 through 10 investigate simultaneous reduction of nitrate and another oxidized compound (perchlorate, sulfate, or TCE) in the MBfR. Chapter 11 summarizes the major findings of this research. …

Contributors
Tang, Youneng, Rittmann, Bruce E, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2012

There is growing concern over the future availability of water for electricity generation. Because of a rapidly growing population coupled with an arid climate, the Western United States faces a particularly acute water/energy challenge, as installation of new electricity capacity is expected to be required in the areas with the most limited water availability. Electricity trading is anticipated to be an important strategy for avoiding further local water stress, especially during drought and in the areas with the most rapidly growing populations. Transfers of electricity imply transfers of "virtual water" - water required for the production of a product. Yet, …

Contributors
Herron, Seth, Ruddell, Benjamin L, Ariaratnam, Samuel, et al.
Created Date
2013

To further the efforts producing energy from more renewable sources, microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) can utilize anode respiring bacteria (ARB) to couple the oxidation of an organic substrate to the delivery of electrons to the anode. Although ARB such as Geobacter and Shewanella have been well-studied in terms of their microbiology and electrochemistry, much is still unknown about the mechanism of electron transfer to the anode. To this end, this thesis seeks to elucidate the complexities of electron transfer existing in Geobacter sulfurreducens biofilms by employing Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) as the tool of choice. Experiments measuring EIS resistances as …

Contributors
Ajulo, Oluyomi, Torres, Cesar, Nielsen, David, et al.
Created Date
2013

Hexavalant chromium (Cr(VI)) poses an emerging concern in drinking water treatment with stricter regulations on the horizon. Photocatalytic reduction of Cr(VI) was investigated as an engineering scale option to remove hexavalent chromium from drinking or industrial waters via a UV/titanium dioxide (TiO2) process. Using an integrated UV lamp/ceramic membrane system to recirculate TiO2, both hexavalent and total chromium levels were reduced through photocatalytic processes without additional chemicals. Cr(VI) removal increased as a function of higher energy input and TiO2 dosage, achieving above 90% removal for a 1g/L dose of TiO2. Surface analysis of effluent TiO2 confirmed the presence of chromium …

Contributors
Stancl, Heather O'Neal, Westerhoff, Paul K, Chan, Candace, et al.
Created Date
2013

This thesis research focuses on developing a single-cell gene expression analysis method for marine diatom Thalassiosira pseudonana and constructing a chip level tool to realize the single cell RT-qPCR analysis. This chip will serve as a conceptual foundation for future deployable ocean monitoring systems. T. pseudonana, which is a common surface water microorganism, was detected in the deep ocean as confirmed by phylogenetic and microbial community functional studies. Six-fold copy number differences between 23S rRNA and 23S rDNA were observed by RT-qPCR, demonstrating the moderate functional activity of detected photosynthetic microbes in the deep ocean including T. pseudonana. Because of …

Contributors
Shi, Xu, Meldrum, Deirdre R., Zhang, Weiwen, et al.
Created Date
2013

Many manmade chemicals used in consumer products are ultimately washed down the drain and are collected in municipal sewers. Efficient chemical monitoring at wastewater treatment (WWT) plants thus may provide up-to-date information on chemical usage rates for epidemiological assessments. The objective of the present study was to extrapolate this concept, termed 'sewage epidemiology', to include municipal sewage sludge (MSS) in identifying and prioritizing contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). To test this the following specific aims were defined: i) to screen and identify CECs in nationally representative samples of MSS and to provide nationwide inventories of CECs in U.S. MSS; ii) …

Contributors
Venkatesan, Arjunkrishna, Halden, Rolf U, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2013

Current policies subsidizing or accelerating deployment of photovoltaics (PV) are typically motivated by claims of environmental benefit, such as the reduction of CO2 emissions generated by the fossil-fuel fired power plants that PV is intended to displace. Existing practice is to assess these environmental benefits on a net life-cycle basis, where CO2 benefits occurring during use of the PV panels is found to exceed emissions generated during the PV manufacturing phase including materials extraction and manufacture of the PV panels prior to installation. However, this approach neglects to recognize that the environmental costs of CO2 release during manufacture are incurred …

Contributors
Triplican Ravikumar, Dwarakanath, Seager, Thomas P, Fraser, Matthew P, et al.
Created Date
2013

Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) present in wastewater effluent can threat its safe discharge or reuse. Additional barriers of protection can be provided using advanced or natural treatment processes. This dissertation evaluated ozonation and constructed wetlands to remove CECs from wastewater effluent. Organic CECs can be removed by hydroxyl radical formed during ozonation, however estimating the ozone demand of wastewater effluent is complicated due to the presence of reduced inorganic species. A method was developed to estimate ozone consumption only by dissolved organic compounds and predict trace organic oxidation across multiple wastewater sources. Organic and engineered nanomaterial (ENM) CEC removal …

Contributors
Sharif, Fariya, Westerhoff, Paul, Halden, Rolf, et al.
Created Date
2013

The consumption of feedstocks from agriculture and forestry by current biofuel production has raised concerns about food security and land availability. In the meantime, intensive human activities have created a large amount of marginal lands that require management. This study investigated the viability of aligning land management with biofuel production on marginal lands. Biofuel crop production on two types of marginal lands, namely urban vacant lots and abandoned mine lands (AMLs), were assessed. The investigation of biofuel production on urban marginal land was carried out in Pittsburgh between 2008 and 2011, using the sunflower gardens developed by a Pittsburgh non-profit …

Contributors
Zhao, Xi, Landis, Amy, Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2013

Nitrate is the most prevalent water pollutant limiting the use of groundwater as a potable water source. The overarching goal of this dissertation was to leverage advances in nanotechnology to improve nitrate photocatalysis and transition treatment to the full-scale. The research objectives were to (1) examine commercial and synthesized photocatalysts, (2) determine the effect of water quality parameters (e.g., pH), (3) conduct responsible engineering by ensuring detection methods were in place for novel materials, and (4) develop a conceptual framework for designing nitrate-specific photocatalysts. The key issues for implementing photocatalysis for nitrate drinking water treatment were efficient nitrate removal at …

Contributors
Doudrick, Kyle, Westerhoff, Paul, Halden, Rolf, et al.
Created Date
2013

This dissertation explores the use of bench-scale batch microcosms in remedial design of contaminated aquifers, presents an alternative methodology for conducting such treatability studies, and - from technical, economical, and social perspectives - examines real-world application of this new technology. In situ bioremediation (ISB) is an effective remedial approach for many contaminated groundwater sites. However, site-specific variability necessitates the performance of small-scale treatability studies prior to full-scale implementation. The most common methodology is the batch microcosm, whose potential limitations and suitable technical alternatives are explored in this thesis. In a critical literature review, I discuss how continuous-flow conditions stimulate microbial …

Contributors
Kalinowski, Tomasz, Halden, Rolf U, Johnson, Paul C, 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

In situ remediation of contaminated aquifers, specifically in situ bioremediation (ISB), has gained popularity over pump-and-treat operations. It represents a more sustainable approach that can also achieve complete mineralization of contaminants in the subsurface. However, the subsurface reality is very complex, characterized by hydrodynamic groundwater movement, geological heterogeneity, and mass-transfer phenomena governing contaminant transport and bioavailability. These phenomena cannot be properly studied using commonly conducted laboratory batch microcosms lacking realistic representation of the processes named above. Instead, relevant processes are better understood by using flow-through systems (sediment columns). However, flow-through column studies are typically conducted without replicates. Due to additional …

Contributors
Mcclellan, Kristin, Halden, Rolf U, Johnson, Paul C, et al.
Created Date
2013

Healthcare infection control has led to increased utilization of disposable medical devices, which has subsequently led to increased adverse environmental effects attributed to healthcare and its supply chain. In dental practice, the dental bur is a commonly used instrument that can either be reused or used once and then disposed. To evaluate the disparities in environmental impacts of disposable and reusable dental burs, a comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) was performed. The comparative LCA evaluated a reusable dental bur (specifically, a 2.00mm Internal Irrigation Pilot Drill) reused 30 instances versus 30 identical burs used as disposables. The LCA methodology was …

Contributors
Unger, Scott, Landis, Amy, Wilson, Natalia, et al.
Created Date
2013

Bacteria of the Legionella genus are a water-borne pathogen of increasing concern due to being responsible for more annual drinking water related disease outbreaks in the United States than all other microbes combined. Unfortunately, the development of public health policies concerning Legionella has impeded by several key factors, including a paucity of data on their interactions and growth requirements in water distribution networks, a poor understanding of potential transmission sources for legionellosis, and limitations in current methodology for the characterization of these pathogens. To address these issues, a variety of research approaches were taken. By measuring Legionella survival in tap …

Contributors
Schwake, David Otto, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Alum, Absar, et al.
Created Date
2014

Research in microbial biofuels has dramatically increased over the last decade. The bulk of this research has focused on increasing the production yields of cyanobacteria and algal cells and improving extraction processes. However, there has been little to no research on the potential impact of viruses on the yields of these phototrophic microbes for biofuel production. Viruses have the potential to significantly reduce microbial populations and limit their growth rates. It is therefore important to understand how viruses affect phototrophic microbes and the prevalence of these viruses in the environment. For this study, phototrophic microbes were grown in glass bioreactors, …

Contributors
Kraft, Kyle, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Alum, Absar, et al.
Created Date
2014

This study was devised to elucidate key information concerning the potential risk posed by Legionella in reclaimed water. A series of biological experiments and a recharge basin soil column study were conducted to examine the survival, growth, and transport of L. pneumophila through engineered reclaimed water systems. A pilot-scale, column study was set up to measure Legionella transport in the columns under Arizona recharge basin conditions. Two columns, A and B, were packed to a depth of 122 cm with a loamy sand media collected from a recharge basin in Mesa, Arizona. The grain size distribution of Column A differed …

Contributors
McBurnett, Lauren Rae, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Alum, Absar, et al.
Created Date
2014

Granular activated carbon (GAC) filters are final polishing step in the drinking water treatment systems for removal of dissolved organic carbon fractions. Generally filters are colonized by bacterial communities and their activity reduces biodegradable solutes allowing partial regeneration of GAC's adsorptive capacity. When the bacteria pass into the filtrate due to increased growth, microbiological quality of drinking water is compromised and regrowth in the distribution system occurs. Bacteria attached to carbon particles as biofilms or in conjugation with other bacteria were observed to be highly resistant to post filtration microbial mitigation techniques. Some of these bacteria were identified as pathogenic. …

Contributors
Sharma, Harsha, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Alum, Absar, et al.
Created Date
2014

Since its first report in 1976, many outbreaks of Legionella have been reported in the world. These outbreaks are a public health concern because of legionellosis, which cause Pontiac fever and Legionnaires disease. Legionnaires disease is a type of pneumonia responsible for the majority of the illness in the reported outbreaks. This study consists of an extensive literature review and experimental work on the aerosolization of Legionella and a bacterial surrogate under laboratory conditions. The literature review summarizes Legionella characteristics, legionellosis, potential sources of Legionella, disease outbreaks, collection and detection methodologies, environmental conditions for growth and survival of Legionella, Gaussian …

Contributors
Taghdiri, Sepideh, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2014

Overall, biofuels play a significant role in future energy sourcing and deserve thorough researching and examining for their best use in achieving sustainable goals. National and state policies are supporting biofuel production as a sustainable option without a holistic view of total impacts. The analysis from this research connects to policies based on life cycle sustainability to identify other environmental impacts beyond those specified in the policy as well as ethical issues that are a concern. A Life cycle assessment (LCA) of switchgrass agriculture indicates it will be challenging to meet U.S. Renewable Fuel Standards with only switchgrass cellulosic ethanol, …

Contributors
Harden, Cheyenne Lillian, Landis, Amy E, Allenby, Braden, et al.
Created Date
2014

Today's energy market is facing large-scale changes that will affect all market players. Near the top of that list is the rapid deployment of residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Yet that growing trend will be influenced multiple competing interests between various stakeholders, namely the utility, consumers and technology provides. This study provides a series of analyses--utility-side, consumer-side, and combined analyses--to understand and evaluate the effect of increases in residential solar PV market penetration. Three urban regions have been selected as study locations--Chicago, Phoenix, Seattle--with simulated load data and solar insolation data at each locality. Various time-of-use pricing schedules are investigated, …

Contributors
Arnold, Michael, Johnson, Nathan G, Rogers, Bradley, et al.
Created Date
2014

Industrial activities have damaged the natural environment at an unprecedented scale. A number of approaches to environmentally responsible design and sustainability have been developed that are aimed at minimizing negative impacts derived from products on the environment. Environmental assessment methods exist as well to measure these impacts. Major environmentally responsible approaches to design and sustainability were analyzed using content analysis techniques. The results show several recommendations to minimize product impacts through design, and dimensions to which they belong. Two products made by a manufacturing firm with exceptional commitment to environmental responsibility were studied to understand how design approaches and assessment …

Contributors
Huerta, Oscar, Giard, Jacques, White, Philip, et al.
Created Date
2014

Arsenic (As) and chromium (Cr) occur naturally in AZ surface and groundwaters, pose different health impacts, and exhibit different treatment efficacies. Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) has newly recognized human health concerns, and State and Federal agencies are evaluating a low Cr(VI)-specific maximum contaminant level (MCL) for drinking water. Occurrence of Cr and As in municipal drinking waters and industrial cooling tower waters was quantified by grab samples and compared with sampling results obtained from a new passive sampler developed specifically for Cr(VI). Cr(VI) and As concentrations in groundwater used for cooling tower make-up water concentrations were ~3 ppb and ~4 ppb, …

Contributors
Bowen, Alexandra Brynn, Paul, Westerhoff K., Hristovski, Kiril, et al.
Created Date
2014

Characterization of petroleum spill site source zones directly influences the selection of corrective action plans and frequently affects the success of remediation efforts. For example, simply knowing whether or not nonaqueous phase liquid (NAPL) is present, or if there is chemical storage in less hydraulically accessible regions, will influence corrective action planning. The overarching objective of this study was to assess if macroscopic source zone features can be inferred from dissolved concentration vs. time data. Laboratory-scale physical model studies were conducted for idealized sources; defined as Type-1) NAPL-impacted high permeability zones, Type-2) NAPL-impacted lower permeability zones, and Type-3) dissolved chemical …

Contributors
Wilson, Sean, Johnson, Paul, Kavazanjian, Edward, et al.
Created Date
2014

In vitro, or cultured, meat refers to edible skeletal muscle and fat tissue grown from animal stem cells in a laboratory or factory. It is essentially meat that does not require an animal to be killed. Although it is still in the research phase of development, claims of its potential benefits range from reducing the environmental impacts of food production to improving human health. However, technologies powerful enough to address such significant challenges often come with unintended consequences and a host of costs and benefits that seldom accrue to the same actors. In extreme cases, they can even be destabilizing …

Contributors
Mattick, Carolyn S., Allenby, Braden R, Landis, Amy E, et al.
Created Date
2014

The National Research Council 2011 report lists quantifying the extent of de facto (or unplanned) potable reuse in the U.S. as the top research need associated with assessing the potential for expanding the nations water supply through reuse of municipal wastewater. Efforts to identify the significance and potential health impacts of de facto water reuse are impeded by out dated information regarding the contribution of municipal wastewater effluent to potable water supplies. This project aims to answer this research need. The overall goal of the this project is to quantify the extent of de facto reuse by developing a model …

Contributors
Rice, Jacelyn J, Westerhoff, Paul, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, et al.
Created Date
2014

Hydrocarbon spill site cleanup is challenging when contaminants are present in lower permeability layers. These are difficult to remediate and may result in long-term groundwater impacts. The research goal is to investigate strategies for long-term reduction of contaminant emissions from sources in low permeability layers through partial source treatment at higher/lower permeability interfaces. Conceptually, this provides a clean/reduced concentration zone near the interface, and consequently a reduced concentration gradient and flux from the lower permeability layer. Treatment by in-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) was evaluated using hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and sodium persulfate (Na2S2O8). H2O2 studies included lab and field-scale distribution studies …

Contributors
Cavanagh, Bridget, Johnson, Paul C, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2014

The influence of climate variability and reclaimed wastewater on the water supply necessitates improved understanding of the treatability of trace and bulk organic matter. Dissolved organic matter (DOM) mobilized during extreme weather events and in treated wastewater includes natural organic matter (NOM), contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), and microbial extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). The goal of my dissertation was to quantify the impacts of extreme weather events on DOM in surface water and downstream treatment processes, and to improve membrane filtration efficiency and CECs oxidation efficiency during water reclamation with ozone. Surface water quality, air quality and hydrologic flow rate …

Contributors
Barry, Michelle Cummings, Barry, Michelle C, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2014

Uranium (U) contamination has been attracting public concern, and many researchers are investigating principles and applications of U remediation. The overall goal of my research is to understand the versatile roles of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in uranium bioremediation, including direct involvement (reducing U) and indirect involvement (protecting U reoxidation). I pursue this goal by studying Desulfovibro vuglaris, a representative SRB. For direct involvement, I performed experiments on uranium bioreduction and uraninite (UO2) production in batch tests and in a H2-based membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR) inoculated with D. vuglaris. In summary, D. vuglaris was able to immobilize soluble U(VI) by enzymatically …

Contributors
Zhou, Chen, Rittmann, Bruce E, Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, et al.
Created Date
2014

Water contamination with nitrate (NO3−) (from fertilizers) and perchlorate (ClO4−) (from rocket fuel and explosives) is a widespread environmental problem. I employed the Membrane Biofilm Reactor (MBfR), a novel bioremediation technology, to treat NO3− and ClO4− in the presence of naturally occurring sulfate (SO42−). In the MBfR, bacteria reduce oxidized pollutants that act as electron acceptors, and they grow as a biofilm on the outer surface of gas-transfer membranes that deliver the electron donor (hydrogen gas, (H2). The overarching objective of my research was to achieve a comprehensive understanding of ecological interactions among key microbial members in the MBfR when …

Contributors
Ontiveros, Aura, Rittmann, Bruce E., Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, et al.
Created Date
2014

The building sector is responsible for consuming the largest proportional share of global material and energy resources. Some observers assert that buildings are the problem and the solution to climate change. It appears that in the United States a coherent national energy policy to encourage rapid building performance improvements is not imminent. In this environment, where many climate and ecological scientists believe we are running out of time to reverse the effects of anthropogenic climate change, a local grass-roots effort to create demonstration net zero-energy buildings (ZEB) appears necessary. This paper documents the process of designing a ZEB in a …

Contributors
Francis, Alan Merrill, Bryan, Harvey, Addison, Marlin, et al.
Created Date
2014

An eco-industrial park (EIP) is an industrial ecosystem in which a group of co-located firms are involved in collective resource optimization with each other and with the local community through physical exchanges of energy, water, materials, byproducts and services - referenced in the industrial ecology literature as "industrial symbiosis". EIPs, when compared with standard industrial resource sharing networks, prove to be of greater public advantage as they offer improved environmental and economic benefits, and higher operational efficiencies both upstream and downstream in their supply chain. Although there have been many attempts to adapt EIP methodology to existing industrial sharing networks, …

Contributors
Gupta, Vaibhav, Calhoun, Ronald J, Dooley, Kevin, et al.
Created Date
2014

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

Since its first report in 1976, many outbreaks linked to Legionella have been reported in the world. These outbreaks are a public health concern because of legionellosis, which is found in two forms, Pontiac fever and Legionnaires disease. Legionnaires disease is a type of pneumonia responsible for the majority of the illness in the reported outbreaks of legionellosis. This study consists of an extensive literature review and experimental work on the aerosolization and UV inactivation of E.coli and Legionella under laboratory conditions. The literature review summarizes Legionella general information, occurrence, environmental conditions for its survival, transmission to human, collection and …

Contributors
Yao, Wei, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2015

Microbial Electrochemical Cell (MXC) technology harnesses the power stored in wastewater by using anode respiring bacteria (ARB) as a biofilm catalyst to convert the energy stored in waste into hydrogen or electricity. ARB, or exoelectrogens, are able to convert the chemical energy stored in wastes into electrical energy by transporting electrons extracellularly and then transferring them to an electrode. If MXC technology is to be feasible for ‘real world’ applications, it is essential that diverse ARB are discovered and their unique physiologies elucidated- ones which are capable of consuming a broad spectrum of wastes from different contaminated water sources. This …

Contributors
Lusk, Bradley Gary, Torres, César I, Rittmann, Bruce E, et al.
Created Date
2015

Up to 25 percent of the operating budget for contaminated site restoration projects is spent on site characterization, including long-term monitoring of contaminant concentrations. The sensitivity, selectivity, and reproducibility of analytical methods have improved to the point where sampling techniques bear the primary responsibility for the accuracy and precision of the data. Most samples represent discrete concentrations in time and space; with sampling points frequently limited in both dimensions, sparse data sets are heavily extrapolated and the quality of data further limited. Methods are presented for characterizing contaminants in water (groundwater and surface waters) and indoor air. These techniques are …

Contributors
Roll, Isaac Benjamin, Halden, Rolf U, Johnson, Paul C, et al.
Created Date
2015

Quagga Mussels (Dreissena bugensis) are an invasive species of mollusk that have established themselves within the Colorado River system of Arizona since 2007. However, despite close proximity and frequent travel by recreational boaters between reservoirs, they have not yet infested the Salt River or Verde River systems. Laboratory experimentation was done to test the survival rate of adult D. bugensis specimens in waters collected from Bartlett Lake (Verde River), Saguaro Lake (Salt River), and Salt River Project (SRP) canals (Salt River/Verde River/Colorado River blend) as well as Central Arizona Project (CAP) canals with the addition of turbidity to simulate high …

Contributors
Sokolowski, Matthew, Fox, Peter, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, et al.
Created Date
2015

Vapor intrusion (VI), can pose health risks to building occupants. Assessment and mitigation at VI impacted sites have been guided by a site conceptual model (SCM) in which vapors originate from subsurface sources, diffuse through soil matrix and enter into a building by gas flow across foundation cracks. Alternative VI pathways and groundwater table fluctuations are not often considered. Alternative VI pathways, involving vapor transport along sewer lines and other subsurface infrastructure, have recently been found to be significant contributors to VI impacts at some sites. This study evaluated approaches for identifying and characterizing the significance of alternative VI pathways …

Contributors
Guo, Yuanming, Johnson, Paul C, Fraser, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2015

Arsenic (As) is a naturally occurring element that poses a health risk when continually consumed at levels exceeding the Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 10 ppb. With the Arizona Department of Water Resources considering reliance on other sources of water other than just solely surface water, groundwater proves a reliable, supplemental source. The Salt River Project (SRP) wants to effectively treat their noncompliance groundwater sources to meet EPA compliance. Rapid small-scale column tests (RSSCTs) of two SRP controlled groundwater wells along the Eastern Canal and Consolidated Canal were designed to assist SRP in selection and future …

Contributors
Lesan, Dylan Scott, Westerhoff, Paul, Hristovski, Kiril, et al.
Created Date
2015

This study reports on benzene and toluene biodegradation under different dissolved oxygen conditions, and the goal of this study is to evaluate and model their removal. Benzene and toluene were tested for obligate anaerobic degradation in batch reactors with sulfate as the electron acceptor. A group of sulfate-reducing bacteria capable of toluene degradation was enriched after 252 days of incubation. Those cultures, originated from anaerobic digester, were able to degrade toluene coupled to sulfate reduction with benzene coexistence, while they were not able to utilize benzene. Methanogens also were present, although their contribution to toluene biodegradation was not defined. Aerobic …

Contributors
Liu, Zhuolin, Rittmann, Bruce E, Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, et al.
Created Date
2015

In the burgeoning field of sustainability, there is a pressing need for healthcare to understand the increased environmental and economic impact of healthcare products and services. The overall aim of this dissertation is to assess the sustainability of commonly used medical products, devices, and services as well as to identify strategies for making easy, low cost changes that result in environmental and economic savings for healthcare systems. Life cycle environmental assessments (LCAs) and life cycle costing assessments (LCCAs) will be used to quantitatively evaluate life-cycle scenarios for commonly utilized products, devices, and services. This dissertation will focus on several strategic …

Contributors
Unger, Scott, Landis, Amy E, Bilec, Melissa, et al.
Created Date
2015

The purpose of this study was to determine the applicability of fluorescent microspheres as a surrogate to measure the removal of Cryptosporidium oocysts through the coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, and filtration steps of conventional water treatment. In order to maintain accuracy and applicability, a local water treatment facility was chosen as the system to model. The city of Chandler Arizona utilizes conventional treatment methodologies to remove pathogens from municipal drinking water and thus the water, coagulant, polymer, and doses concentrations were sourced directly from the plant. Jar testing was performed on four combinations of coagulant, polymer, and fluorescent microsphere to determine …

Contributors
Links, Alexander Glenn, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Alum, Absar, et al.
Created Date
2015

Fossil resources have enabled the development of the plastic industry in the last century. More recently biopolymers have been making gains in the global plastics market. Biopolymers are plastics derived from plants, primarily corn, which can function very similarly to fossil based plastics. One difference between some of the dominant biopolymers, namely polylactic acid and thermoplastic starch, and the most common fossil-based plastics is the feature of compostability. This means that biopolymers represent not only a shift from petroleum and natural gas to agricultural resources but also that these plastics have potentially different impacts resulting from alternative disposal routes. The …

Contributors
Hottle, Troy Alan, Landis, Amy E, Allenby, Braden R, et al.
Created Date
2015

This dissertation studies the larger issue of antibiotic resistance with respect to how antibiotics are being introduced into the environment, focusing on two major anthropogenic pathways: animal husbandry for human consumption, and the recycling of wastewater and municipal sludge generated during conventional biological sewage treatment. For animal production on land (agriculture) antibiotics are often used for growth enhancement and increased feed efficiency. For animal production in water (aquaculture) antibiotics are often used as a prophylactic. I found that the same antibiotics are being used in both industries and that the same strains of human pathogens have also been isolated from …

Contributors
Done, Hansa Yi-Yun, Halden, Rolf U, Haydel, Shelley E, et al.
Created Date
2015

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

Photosynthesis converts sunlight to biomass at a global scale. Among the photosynthetic organisms, cyanobacteria provide an excellent model to study how photosynthesis can become a practical platform of large-scale biotechnology. One novel approach involves metabolically engineering the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 to excrete laurate, which is harvested directly. This work begins by defining a working window of light intensity (LI). Wild-type and laurate-excreting Synechocystis required an LI of at least 5 µE/m2-s to sustain themselves, but are photo-inhibited by LI of 346 to 598 µE/m2-s. Fixing electrons into valuable organic products, e.g., biomass and excreted laurate, is critical to …

Contributors
Nguyen, Binh T., Rittmann, Bruce E, Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, et al.
Created Date
2015

Bioremediation of trichloroethene (TCE) using Dehalococcoides mccartyi-containing microbial cultures is a recognized and successful remediation technology. Our work with an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor has shown that high-performance, fast-rate dechlorination of TCE can be achieved by promoting bioflocculation of Dehalococcoides mccartyi-containing cultures. The bioreactor achieved high maximum conversion rates of 1.63 ± 0.012 mmol Cl- Lculture-1 h-1 at an HRT of 3.6 hours and >97% dechlorination of TCE to ethene while continuously fed 2 mM TCE. The UASB generated bioflocs from a microbially heterogeneous dechlorinating culture and produced Dehalococcoides mccartyi densities of 1.73x10-13 cells Lculture-1 indicating that bioflocculation …

Contributors
Fajardo-Williams, Devyn J., Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, Torres, Cesar I, et al.
Created Date
2015

Engineering education can provide students with the tools to address complex, multidisciplinary grand challenge problems in sustainable and global contexts. However, engineering education faces several challenges, including low diversity percentages, high attrition rates, and the need to better engage and prepare students for the role of a modern engineer. These challenges can be addressed by integrating sustainability grand challenges into engineering curriculum. Two main strategies have emerged for integrating sustainability grand challenges. In the stand-alone course method, engineering programs establish one or two distinct courses that address sustainability grand challenges in depth. In the module method, engineering programs integrate sustainability …

Contributors
Antaya, Claire Louise, Landis, Amy E, Parrish, Kristen, 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

Six high-production-volume neonicotinoids were traced through a municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and engineered wetland located downstream, in a study motivated by reports on these insecticides posing threats to non-target invertebrate species and potentially playing a role in the global honeybee colony collapse disorder. An array of automated samplers was deployed in a five-day monitoring campaign and resultant flow-weighted samples were analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) using the isotope dilution method. Concentrations in WWTP influent and effluent were 54.7 ± 2.9 and 48.6 ± 2.7 ng/L for imidacloprid, respectively, and 3.7 ± 0.3 and 1.8 ± 0.1 …

Contributors
Sadaria, akash mahendra, HALDEN, ROLF, FOX, PETER, et al.
Created Date
2015

Vapor intrusion (VI) pathway assessment often involves the collection and analysis of groundwater, soil gas, and indoor air data. There is temporal variability in these data, but little is understood about the characteristics of that variability and how it influences pathway assessment decision-making. This research included the first-ever collection of a long-term high-frequency indoor air data set at a house with VI impacts overlying a dilute chlorinated solvent groundwater plume. It also included periodic synoptic snapshots of groundwater and soil gas data and high-frequency monitoring of building conditions and environmental factors. Indoor air trichloroethylene (TCE) concentrations varied over three orders-of-magnitude …

Contributors
Holton, Chase Weston, Johnson, Paul C, Fraser, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2015

Creating sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel resources is one of the greatest challenges facing mankind. Solar energy provides an excellent option to alleviate modern dependence on fossil fuels. However, efficient methods to harness solar energy are still largely lacking. Biomass from photosynthetic organisms can be used as feedstock to produce traditional fuels, but must be produced in great quantities in order to meet the demands of growing populations. Cyanobacteria are prokaryotic photosynthetic microorganisms that can produce biomass on large scales using only sunlight, carbon dioxide, water, and small amounts of nutrients. Thus, Cyanobacteria are a viable option for sustainable production …

Contributors
Zevin, Alexander Simon, Rittmann, Bruce E, Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, et al.
Created Date
2015

Large-scale cultivation of photosynthetic microorganisms for the production of biodiesel and other valuable commodities must be made more efficient. Recycling the water and nutrients acquired from biomass harvesting promotes a more sustainable and economically viable enterprise. This study reports on growing the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 using permeate obtained from concentrating the biomass by cross-flow membrane filtration. I used a kinetic model based on the available light intensity (LI) to predict biomass productivity and evaluate overall performance. During the initial phase of the study, I integrated a membrane filter with a bench-top photobioreactor (PBR) and created a continuously operating …

Contributors
Thompson, Matthew John, Rittmann, Bruce E, Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2015

Comparative life cycle assessment (LCA) evaluates the relative performance of multiple products, services, or technologies with the purpose of selecting the least impactful alternative. Nevertheless, characterized results are seldom conclusive. When one alternative performs best in some aspects, it may also performs worse in others. These tradeoffs among different impact categories make it difficult to identify environmentally preferable alternatives. To help reconcile this dilemma, LCA analysts have the option to apply normalization and weighting to generate comparisons based upon a single score. However, these approaches can be misleading because they suffer from problems of reference dataset incompletion, linear and fully …

Contributors
Prado-Lopez, Valentina, Seager, Thomas P, Chester, Mikhail V, et al.
Created Date
2015

The need for rapid, specific and sensitive assays that provide a detection of bacterial indicators are important for monitoring water quality. Rapid detection using biosensor is a novel approach for microbiological testing applications. Besides, validation of rapid methods is an obstacle in adoption of such new bio-sensing technologies. In this study, the strategy developed is based on using the compound 4-methylumbelliferyl glucuronide (MUG), which is hydrolyzed rapidly by the action of E. coli β-D-glucuronidase (GUD) enzyme to yield a fluorogenic product that can be quantified and directly related to the number of E. coli cells present in water samples. The …

Contributors
Hesari, Nikou, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Alum, Absar, et al.
Created Date
2015

Over the past decade, there has been a revival in applied algal research and attempts at commercialization. However, the main limitation in algal commercialization is the process of cultivation, which is one of the main cost and energy burdens in producing biomass that is economically feasible for different products. There are several parameters that must be considered when growing algae, including the type of growth system and operating mode, preferred organism(s), and many other criteria that affect the process of algal cultivation. The purpose of this dissertation was to assess key variables that affect algal productivity and to improve outdoor …

Contributors
Eustance, Everett, Sommerfeld, Milton R, Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2015

Nanotechnology is becoming increasingly present in our environment. Engineered nanoparticles (ENPs), defined as objects that measure less than 100 nanometers in at least one dimension, are being integrated into commercial products because of their small size, increased surface area, and quantum effects. These special properties have made ENPs antimicrobial agents in clothing and plastics, among other applications in industries such as pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, and prosthetics. This thesis incorporates investigations into both application of nanoparticles into polymers as well as implications of nanoparticle release into the environment. First, the integration of ENPs into polymer fibers via electrospinning was explored. Electrospinning …

Contributors
Hoogesteijn von Reitzenstein, Natalia, Westerhoff, Paul, Herckes, Pierre, et al.
Created Date
2015

Ion exchange sorbents embedded with metal oxide nanoparticles can have high affinity and high capacity to simultaneously remove multiple oxygenated anion contaminants from drinking water. This research pursued answering the question, “Can synthesis methods of nano-composite sorbents be improved to increase sustainability and feasibility to remove hexavalent chromium and arsenic simultaneously from groundwater compared to existing sorbents?” Preliminary nano-composite sorbents outperformed existing sorbents in equilibrium tests, but struggled in packed bed applications and at low influent concentrations. The synthesis process was then tailored for weak base anion exchange (WBAX) while comparing titanium dioxide against iron hydroxide nanoparticles (Ti-WBAX and Fe-WBAX, …

Contributors
Gifford, James McKay, Westerhoff, Paul, Hristovski, Kiril, et al.
Created Date
2016

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the most dangerous greenhouse gas. Its concentration in the atmosphere has increased to very high levels since the industrial revolution. This continues to be a threat due to increasing energy demands. 60% of the worlds global emissions come from automobiles and other such moving sources. Hence, to stay within safe limits, it is extremely important to curb current emissions and remove those which have already been emitted. Out of many available technologies, one such technology is the moisture swing based air capture technology that makes use of resin material that absorbs CO2 when it …

Contributors
Chopra, Vinuta, Lackner, Klaus S, Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2016

N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen, has been found in clouds and fogs at concentration up to 500 ng/L and in drinking water as disinfection by-product. NDMA exposure to the general public is not well understood because of knowledge gaps in terms of occurrence, formation and fate both in air and water. The goal of this dissertation was to contribute to closing these knowledge gaps on potential human NDMA exposure through contributions to atmospheric measurements and fate as well as aqueous formation processes. Novel, sensitive methods of measuring NDMA in air were developed based on Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) and …

Contributors
Zhang, Jinwei, Herckes, Pierre, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2016

The application of microalgal biofilms in wastewater treatment has great advantages such as abolishing the need for energy intensive aerators and recovering nutrients as energy, thus reducing the energy requirement of wastewater treatment several-fold. A 162 cm2 algal biofilm reactor with good wastewater treatment performance and a regular harvesting procedure was studied at lab scale to gain an understanding of effectual parameters such as hydraulic retention time (HRT; 2.6 and 1.3 hrs), liquid level (LL; 0.5 and 1.0 cm), and solids retention time (SRT; 3 and 1.5 wks). A revised synthetic wastewater “Syntho 3.7” was used as a surrogate of …

Contributors
Halloum, Ibrahim Ammar, Torres, César I, Popat, Sudeep C, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

Microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) serve as an alternative anaerobic technology to anaerobic digestion for efficient energy recovery from high-strength organic wastes such as primary sludge (PS). The overarching goal of my research was to address energy conversion from PS to useful resources (e.g. hydrogen or hydrogen peroxide) through bio- and electro-chemical anaerobic conversion processes in MXCs. First, a new flat-pate microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) was designed with high surface area anodes using carbon fibers, but without creating a large distance between the anode and the cathode (<0.5 cm) to reduce Ohmic overpotential. Through the improved design, operation, and electrochemical characterization, …

Contributors
Ki, Dong Won, Torres, César I, Rittmann, Bruce E, 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

The increasingly recurrent extraordinary flood events in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, Mexico have led to significant stakeholder interest in understanding the hydrologic response of the Santa Catarina watershed to extreme events. This study analyzes a flood mitigation strategy proposed by stakeholders through a participatory workshop and are assessed using two hydrological models: The Hydrological Modeling System (HEC-HMS) and the Triangulated Irregular Network (TIN)-based Real-time Integrated Basin Simulator (tRIBS). The stakeholder-derived flood mitigation strategy consists of placing new hydraulic infrastructure in addition to the current flood controls in the basin. This is done by simulating three scenarios: (1) evaluate the …

Contributors
Cazares-Rodriguez, Jorge, Vivoni, Enrique, Wang, Zhihua, et al.
Created Date
2016

Several prominent research strategy organizations recommend applying life cycle assessment (LCA) early in the development of emerging technologies. For example, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the National Research Council, the Department of Energy, and the National Nanotechnology Initiative identify the potential for LCA to inform research and development (R&D) of photovoltaics and products containing engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). In this capacity, application of LCA to emerging technologies may contribute to the growing movement for responsible research and innovation (RRI). However, existing LCA practices are largely retrospective and ill-suited to support the objectives of RRI. For example, barriers related to data availability, …

Contributors
Wender, Ben A., Seager, Thomas, Guston, David, et al.
Created Date
2016

ABSTRACT Sustainable global energy production is one of the grand challenges of the 21st century. Next-generation renewable energy sources include using photosynthetic microbes such as cyanobacteria for efficient production of sustainable fuels from sunlight. The cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC 6803 (Synechocystis) is a genetically tractable model organism for plant-like photosynthesis that is used to develop microbial biofuel technologies. However, outside of photosynthetic processes, relatively little is known about the biology of microbial phototrophs such as Synechocystis, which impairs their development into market-ready technologies. My research objective was to characterize strategic aspects of Synechocystis biology related to its use in biofuel production; …

Contributors
Allen, Rebecca Custer, Curtiss III, Roy, Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, et al.
Created Date
2016

The microbial electrochemical cell (MXC) is a novel environmental-biotechnology platform for renewable energy production from waste streams. The two main goals of MXCs are recovery of renewable energy and production of clean water. Up to now, energy recovery, Coulombic efficiency (CE), and treatment efficiency of MXCs fed with real wastewater have been low. Therefore, the overarching goal of my research was to address the main causes for these low efficiencies; this knowledge will advance MXCs technology toward commercialization. First, I found that fermentation, not anode respiration, was the rate-limiting step for achieving complete organics removal, along with high current densities …

Contributors
Mohamed, Mohamed Mahmoud Ali, Rittmann, Bruce E., Torres, César I., et al.
Created Date
2016

Photovoltaics (PV) is an environmentally promising technology to meet climate goals and transition away from greenhouse-gas (GHG) intensive sources of electricity. The dominant approach to improve the environmental gains from PV is increasing the module efficiency and, thereby, the renewable electricity generated during use. While increasing the use-phase environmental benefits, this approach doesn’t address environmentally intensive PV manufacturing and recycling processes. Lifecycle assessment (LCA), the preferred framework to identify and address environmental hotspots in PV manufacturing and recycling, doesn’t account for time-sensitive climate impact of PV manufacturing GHG emissions and underestimates the climate benefit of manufacturing improvements. Furthermore, LCA is …

Contributors
Triplican Ravikumar, Dwarakanath, Seager, Thomas P, Fraser, Matthew P, et al.
Created Date
2016

Rapid urban expansion and the associated landscape modifications have led to significant changes of surface processes in built environments. These changes further interact with the overlying atmospheric boundary layer and strongly modulate urban microclimate. To capture the impacts of urban land surface processes on urban boundary layer dynamics, a coupled urban land-atmospheric modeling framework has been developed. The urban land surface is parameterized by an advanced single-layer urban canopy model (SLUCM) with realistic representations of urban green infrastructures such as lawn, tree, and green roof, etc. The urban atmospheric boundary layer is simulated by a single column model (SCM) with …

Contributors
Song, Jiyun, Wang, Zhihua, Vivoni, Enrique R, et al.
Created Date
2016

Land surface fluxes of energy and mass developed over heterogeneous mountain landscapes are fundamental to atmospheric processes. However, due to their high complexity and the lack of spatial observations, land surface processes and land-atmosphere interactions are not fully understood in mountain regions. This thesis investigates land surface processes and their impact on convective precipitation by conducting numerical modeling experiments at multiple scales over the North American Monsoon (NAM) region. Specifically, the following scientific questions are addressed: (1) how do land surface conditions evolve during the monsoon season, and what are their main controls?, (2) how do the diurnal cycles of …

Contributors
XIANG, TIANTIAN, Vivoni, Enrique R, Gochis, David J, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

Bacteriophage provide high specificity to bacteria; receiving interest in various applications and have been used as target recognition tools in designing bioactive surfaces. Several current immobilization strategies to detect and capture bacteriophage require non-deliverable bioactive substrates or modifying the chemistry of the phage, procedures that are labor intensive and can damage the integrity of the virus. The aim of this research was to develop the framework to physisorb and chemisorb T4 coliphage on varied sized functionalized silica particles while retaining its infectivity. First, silica surface modification, silanization, altered pristine silica colloids to positively, amine coated silica. The phages remain infective …

Contributors
Bone, Stephanie Rosalia, Perreault, Francois, Alum, Absar, et al.
Created Date
2017

Reverse osmosis (RO) membranes are considered the most effective treatment to remove salt from water. Specifically, thin film composite (TFC) membranes are considered the gold standard for RO. Despite TFC membranes good performance, there are drawbacks to consider including: permeability-selectivity tradeoff, chlorine damage, and biofouling potential. In order to counter these drawbacks, polyamide matrixes were embedded with various nanomaterials called mixed matrix membranes (MMMs) or thin film nanocomposites (TFNs). This research investigates the use of graphene oxide (GO) and reduced graphene oxide (RGO) into the polyamide matrix of a TFC membrane. GO and RGO have the potential to alter the …

Contributors
Inurria, Adam, Perreault, Francois, Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2017

Microplastics are emerging to be major problem when it comes to water pollution and they pose a great threat to marine life. These materials have the potential to affect a wide range of human population since humans are the major consumers of marine organisms. Microplastics are less than 5 mm in diameter, and can escape from traditional wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) processes and end up in our water sources. Due to their small size, they have a large surface area and can react with chlorine, which it encounters in the final stages of WWTP. After the microplastics accumulate in various …

Contributors
Kelkar, Varun, Green, Matthew D, Tongay, Sefaattin, et al.
Created Date
2017

Advanced oxidation processes (AOP’s) are water/wastewater treatment processes simultaneously providing disinfection and potential oxidation of contaminants that may cause long-term adverse health effects in humans. One AOP involves injecting peracetic acid (PAA) upstream of an ultraviolet (UV) irradiation reactor. Two studies were conducted, one in pilot-scale field conditions and another under laboratory conditions. A pilot-scale NeoTech UV reactor (rated for 375 GPM) was used in the pilot study, where a smaller version of this unit was used in the laboratory study (20 to 35 GPM). The pilot study analyzed coliform disinfection and also monitored water quality parameters including UV transmittance …

Contributors
Cooper, Samantha L., Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Alum, Absar, et al.
Created Date
2017

The accurate and fast determination of organic air pollutants for many applications and studies is critical. Exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has become an important public health concern, which may induce a lot of health effects such as respiratory irritation, headaches and dizziness. In order to monitor the personal VOCs exposure level at point-of-care, a wearable real time monitor for VOCs detection is necessary. For it to be useful in real world application, it requires low cost, small size and weight, low power consumption, high sensitivity and selectivity. To meet these requirements, a novel mobile device for personal VOCs …

Contributors
Deng, Yue, Forzani, Erica S, Lind, Mary L, et al.
Created Date
2017