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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.


Date Range
2012 2019


As urban populations rapidly increase in an era of climate change and multiple social and environmental uncertainties, scientists and governments are cultivating knowledge and solutions for the sustainable growth and maintenance of cities. Although substantial literature focuses on urban water resource management related to both human and ecological sustainability, few studies assess the unique role of waterway restorations to bridge anthropocentric and ecological concerns in urban environments. To address this gap, my study addressed if well-established sustainability principles are evoked during the nascent discourse of recently proposed urban waterway developments along over fifty miles of Arizona’s Salt River. In this …

Contributors
Horvath, Veronica Nicole, White, Dave D, Mirumachi, Naho, et al.
Created Date
2019

Motivated by the need for cities to prepare and be resilient to unpredictable future weather conditions, this dissertation advances a novel infrastructure development theory of “safe-to-fail” to increase the adaptive capacity of cities to climate change. Current infrastructure development is primarily reliant on identifying probable risks to engineered systems and making infrastructure reliable to maintain its function up to a designed system capacity. However, alterations happening in the earth system (e.g., atmosphere, oceans, land, and ice) and in human systems (e.g., greenhouse gas emission, population, land-use, technology, and natural resource use) are increasing the uncertainties in weather predictions and risk …

Contributors
Kim, Yeowon, Chester, Mikhail, Eakin, Hallie, et al.
Created Date
2018

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

Bicyclist and pedestrian safety is a growing concern in San Francisco, CA, especially given the increasing numbers of residents choosing to bike and walk. Sharing the roads with automobiles, these alternative road users are particularly vulnerable to sustain serious injuries. With this in mind, it is important to identify the factors that influence the severity of bicyclist and pedestrian injuries in automobile collisions. This study uses traffic collision data gathered from California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) to predict the most important determinants of injury severity, given that a collision has occurred. Multivariate binomial logistic regression models …

Contributors
McIntyre, Andrew, Salon, Deborah, Kuby, Mike, 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

Recognition of algae as a “Fit for Purpose” biomass and its potential as an energy and bio-product resource remains relatively obscure. This is due to the absence of tailored and unified production information necessary to overcome several barriers for commercial viability and environmental sustainability. The purpose of this research was to provide experimentally verifiable estimates for direct energy and water demand for the algal cultivation stage which yields algal biomass for biofuels and other bio-products. Algal biomass productivity was evaluated using different cultivation methods in conjunction with assessment for potential reduction in energy and water consumption for production of fuel …

Contributors
Badvipour, Shahrzad, Sommerfeld, Milton, Downes, Meghan, et al.
Created Date
2015

A methodology is developed that integrates institutional analysis with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to identify and overcome barriers to sustainability transitions and to bridge the gap between environmental practitioners and decisionmakers. LCA results are rarely joined with analyses of the social systems that control or influence decisionmaking and policies. As a result, LCA conclusions generally lack information about who or what controls different parts of the system, where and when the processes' environmental decisionmaking happens, and what aspects of the system (i.e. a policy or regulatory requirement) would have to change to enable lower environmental impact futures. The value of …

Contributors
Kimball, Mindy Anne, Chester, Mikhail, Allenby, Braden, et al.
Created Date
2014

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

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

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