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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.




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

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) quantifies environmental impacts of products in raw material extraction, processing, manufacturing, distribution, use and final disposal. The findings of an LCA can be used to improve industry practices, to aid in product development, and guide public policy. Unfortunately, existing approaches to LCA are unreliable in the cases of emerging technologies, where data is unavailable and rapid technological advances outstrip environmental knowledge. Previous studies have demonstrated several shortcomings to existing practices, including the masking of environmental impacts, the difficulty of selecting appropriate weight sets for multi-stakeholder problems, and difficulties in exploration of variability and uncertainty. In particular, …

Contributors
Prado-Lopez, Valentina, Seager, Thomas P, Landis, Amy E, et al.
Created Date
2013

Advancing sustainable food systems requires holistic understanding and solutions-oriented approaches that transcend disciplines, so expertise in a variety of subjects is necessary. Proposed solutions are usually technically or socially oriented, but disagreement over the best approach to the future of food dominates the dialogue. Technological optimists argue that scientific advances are necessary to feed the world, but environmental purists believe that reductions in consumption and waste are sufficient and less risky. Life cycle assessment (LCA) helps resolve debates through quantitative analysis of environmental impacts from products which serve the same function. LCA used to compare dietary choices reveals that simple …

Contributors
Berardy, Andrew James, Seager, Thomas P, Hannah, Mark, et al.
Created Date
2015

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

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

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

Cities around the globe struggle with socio-economic disparities, resource inefficiency, environmental contamination, and quality-of-life challenges. Technological innovation, as one prominent approach to problem solving, promises to address these challenges; yet, introducing new technologies, such as nanotechnology, into society and cities has often resulted in negative consequences. Recent research has conceptually linked anticipatory governance and sustainability science: to understand the role of technology in complex problems our societies face; to anticipate negative consequences of technological innovation; and to promote long-term oriented and responsible governance of technologies. This dissertation advances this link conceptually and empirically, focusing on nanotechnology and urban sustainability challenges. …

Contributors
Foley, Rider W., Wiek, Arnim, Guston, David H, et al.
Created Date
2013