Skip to main content

ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


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

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

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


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

This dissertation focuses on the application of urban metabolism metrology (UMM) to process streams of the natural and built water environment to gauge public health concerning exposure to carcinogenic N-nitrosamines and abuse of narcotics. A survey of sources of exposure to N-nitrosamines in the U.S. population identified contaminated food products (1,900 ± 380 ng/day) as important drivers of attributable cancer risk (Chapter 2). Freshwater sediments in the proximity of U.S. municipal wastewater treatment plants were shown for the first time to harbor carcinogenic N-nitrosamine congeners, including N-nitrosodibutylamine (0.2-3.3 ng/g dw), N-nitrosodiphenylamine (0.2-4.7 ng/g dw), and N-nitrosopyrrolidine (3.4-19.6 ng/g dw) were, …

Contributors
Gushgari, Adam Jon, Halden, Rolf U, Kavazanjian, Edward, et al.
Created Date
2018

Adenoviruses cause gastrointestinal illnesses and have been listed on the U.S. EPA’s Contaminant Candidate Lists (CCL). They are highly resistant to ultraviolet (UV) inactivation. Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) are known to improve inactivation of microorganisms and simultaneously oxidize organics. The bacteriophage P22 was selected as a surrogate for adenoviruses due to their physical and genetic similarities. The main objective of this study was to compare the synergic disinfection potential of titanium dioxide (TiO2) or peracetic acid (PAA) with UV for viruses and bacteria in water. Both bench-scale and pilot-scale evaluation was done. A bench-scale collimated beam was included to evaluate …

Contributors
Nikougoftar Zarif, Majid, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2017

Drinking water filtration using reverse osmosis (RO) membranes effectively removes salts and most other inorganic, organic, and microbial pollutants. RO technologies are utilized at both the municipal and residential scale. The formation of biofilms on RO membranes reduces water flux and increases energy consumption. The research conducted for this thesis involves In-Situ coating of silver, a known biocide, on the surface of RO membranes. This research was adapted from a protocol developed for coating flat sheet membranes with silver nanoparticles, and scaled up into spiral-wound membranes that are commonly used at the residential scale in point-of-use (POU) filtration systems. Performance …

Contributors
Zimmerman, Sean Erik, Westerhoff, Paul K, Sinha, Shahnawaz, et al.
Created Date
2017

With the application of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes in the wastewater treatment and seawater desalination, the limitation of flux and fouling problems of RO have gained more attention from researchers. Because of the tunable structure and physicochemical properties of nanomaterials, it is a suitable material that can be used to incorporate with RO to change the membrane performances. Silver is biocidal, which has been used in a variety of consumer products. Recent studies showed that fabricating silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on membrane surfaces can mitigate the biofouling problem on the membrane. Studies have shown that Ag released from the membrane in …

Contributors
Han, Bingru, Westerhoff, Paul, Perreault, Francois, et al.
Created Date
2017

On average, our society generates ~0.5 ton of municipal solid waste per person annually. Biomass waste can be gasified to generate synthesis gas (syngas), a gas mixture consisting predominantly of CO, CO2, and H2. Syngas, rich in carbon and electrons, can fuel the metabolism of carboxidotrophs, anaerobic microorganisms that metabolize CO (a toxic pollutant) and produce biofuels (H2, ethanol) and commodity chemicals (acetate and other fatty acids). Despite the attempts for commercialization of syngas fermentation by several companies, the metabolic processes involved in CO and syngas metabolism are not well understood. This dissertation aims to contribute to the understanding of …

Contributors
Esquivel Elizondo, Sofia Victoria, Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, Rittmann, Bruce E., et al.
Created Date
2017

Granular activated carbon (GAC) is effectively used to remove natural organic matter (NOM) and to assist in the removal of disinfection byproducts (DBPs) and their precursors. However, operation of GAC is cost- and labor-intensive due to frequent media replacement. Optimizing the use of GAC is necessary to ensure treatment efficiency while reducing costs. This dissertation presents four strategies to reduce improve GAC usage while reducing formation of DBPs. The first part of this work adopts Rapid Small Scale Tests (RSSCTs) to evaluate removal of molecular weight fractions of NOM, characterized using size exclusion chromatography (SECDOC). Total trihalomethanes (TTHM), haloacetic acids …

Contributors
Fischer, Natalia, Westerhoff, Paul, Hristovski, Kiril, et al.
Created Date
2017

Activated Carbon has been used for decades to remove organics from water at large scale in municipal water treatment as well as at small scale in Point of Use (POU) and Point of Entry (POE) water treatment. This study focused on Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) and also activated Carbon Block (CB) were studied. This thesis has three related elements for organics control in drinking water. First, coagulation chemistry for Alum and Aluminum Chlorohydrate (ACH) was optimized for significant organics removal to address membrane fouling issue at a local municipal water treatment plant in Arizona. Second, Rapid Small Scale Column Tests …

Contributors
Ashani, Harsh, Westerhoff, Paul, Hristovski, Kiril, et al.
Created Date
2017

This study was designed to provide insight into microbial transport kinetics which might be applied to bioremediation technology development and prevention of groundwater susceptibility to pathogen contamination. Several pilot-scale experiments were conducted in a saturated, 2 dimensional, packed porous media tank to investigate the transport of Escherichia coli bacteria, P22 bacteriophage, and a visual tracer and draw comparisons and/or conclusions. A constructed tank was packed with an approximate 3,700 cubic inches (in3) of a fine grained, homogeneous, chemically inert sand which allowed for a controlled system. Sampling ports were located at 5, 15, 25, and 25 vertical inches from the …

Contributors
Acosta, Jazlyn Cauren, Abbaszadegan, Morteza, Dahlen, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2017

The advantages and challenges of combining zero-valent iron (ZVI) and microbial reduction of trichloroethene (TCE) and perchlorate (ClO4-) in contaminated soil and groundwater are not well understood. The objective of this work was to identify the benefits and limitations of simultaneous application of ZVI and bioaugmentation for detoxification of TCE and ClO4- using conditions relevant to a specific contaminated site. We studied conditions representing a ZVI-injection zone and a downstream zone influenced Fe (II) produced, for simultaneous ZVI and microbial reductive dechlorination applications using bench scale semi-batch microcosm experiments. 16.5 g L-1 ZVI effectively reduced TCE to ethene and ethane …

Contributors
Mohana Rangan, Srivatsan, Krajmalnik-Brown, Rosa, Delgado, Anca G, et al.
Created Date
2017

Contamination of drinking water supplies from oxo-anion pollutants necessitates treatment prior to potable use. This dissertation aims to inform and improve light delivery (emission spectra, radiant intensity, reactor configuration) in order to enhance the photocatalytic reduction of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) and nitrate, two common oxo-anions in drinking water, and photocatalytic oxidation of two model organic pollutants (methylene blue, (MB) and para-chlorobenzoic acid (pCBA)). By varying the photon fluence dose, two metrics (contaminant quantum yield (Φ), and electrical energy per order (EEO)) were used to assess photocatalytic reactor performance. A detailed literature review and experimental results demonstrated how different irradiance sources …

Contributors
Tugaoen, Heather O'Neal, Westerhoff, Paul, Hristovski, Kiril, et al.
Created Date
2017

Urbanization and woody plant encroachment, with subsequent brush management, are two significant land cover changes that are represented in the southwestern United States. Urban areas continue to grow, and rangelands are undergoing vegetation conversions, either purposely through various rangeland management techniques, or by accident, through inadvertent effects of climate and management. This thesis investigates how areas undergoing land cover conversions in a semiarid region, through urbanization or rangeland management, influences energy, water and carbon fluxes. Specifically, the following scientific questions are addressed: (1) what is the impact of different urban land cover types in Phoenix, AZ on energy and water …

Contributors
Templeton, Nicole, Vivoni, Enrique R, Archer, Steven R, et al.
Created Date
2017

This dissertation is focused on environmental releases from U.S. wastewater infrastructure of recently introduced, mass-produced insecticides, namely neonicotinoids as well as fipronil and its major degradates (sulfone, sulfide, amide, and desulfinyl derivatives), jointly known as fiproles. Both groups of compounds recently have caught the attention of regulatory agencies worldwide due to their toxic effects on pollinators and on aquatic invertebrates at very low, part-per-trillion levels (Chapter 1). Mass balance studies conducted for 13 U.S. wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) showed ubiquitous occurrence (3-666 ng/L) and persistence of neonicotinoids (Chapter 2). For the years 2001 through 2016, a longitudinal nationwide study was …

Contributors
Sadaria, Akash Mahendra, Halden, Rolf, Fraser, Matthew, et al.
Created Date
2017

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

As selenium is toxic at low levels, treatment methods to remove selenium from industrial waste waters are needed. In this work, three groups of sorbent materials were investigated in detail for their effectiveness for selenium and arsenic removal from water: 1) nanostructured carbon-based materials, 2) layered double hydroxide (LDH)-based materials, and 3) biopolymer-based sorbents. The materials were investigated in spiked de-ionized water and waters collected from different locations at Salt River Project’s (SRP) Santan Generating Station in Gilbert, AZ. The results show that nanostructured carbon-based materials removed ~80% and up to 100% selenium and arsenic, respectively in spiked DI water. …

Contributors
Li, Man, Chan, Candace, Lind, Mary Laura, et al.
Created Date
2017

One solution to mitigating global climate change is using cyanobacteria or single-celled algae (collectively microalgae) to replace petroleum-based fuels and products, thereby reducing the net release of carbon dioxide. This work develops and evaluates a mechanistic kinetic model for light-dependent microalgal growth. Light interacts with microalgae in a variety of positive and negative ways that are captured by the model: light intensity (LI) attenuates through a microalgal culture, light absorption provides the energy and electron flows that drive photosynthesis, microalgae pool absorbed light energy, microalgae acclimate to different LI conditions, too-high LI causes damage to the cells’ photosystems, and sharp …

Contributors
Straka, Levi, Rittmann, Bruce E, Fox, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2017

The resilience of infrastructure essential to public health, safety, and well-being remains a priority among Federal agencies and institutions. National policies and guidelines enacted by these entities call for a holistic approach to resilience and effectively acknowledge the complex, multi-organizational, and socio-technical integration of critical infrastructure. However, the concept of holism is seldom discussed in literature. As a result, resilience knowledge among disciplines resides in near isolation, inhibiting opportunities for collaboration and offering partial solutions to complex problems. Furthermore, there is limited knowledge about how human resilience and the capacity to develop and comprehend increasing levels of complexity can influence, …

Contributors
Thomas, John E., Seager, Thomas P, Clark, Susan, et al.
Created Date
2017

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

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 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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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&minus;) (from fertilizers) and perchlorate (ClO4&minus;) (from rocket fuel and explosives) is a widespread environmental problem. I employed the Membrane Biofilm Reactor (MBfR), a novel bioremediation technology, to treat NO3&minus; and ClO4&minus; in the presence of naturally occurring sulfate (SO42&minus;). 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

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