Advancing the Implementation and Adoption of Urine Diversion Systems in Commercial and Institutional Buildings in the United States: A Focus on Control of Urea Hydrolysis
This dissertation focused on the implementation of urine diversion systems in commercial and institutional buildings in the United States with a focus on control of the urea hydrolysis reaction. Urine diversion is the process by which urine is separately collected at the source in order to realize system benefits, including water conservation, nutrient recovery, and pharmaceutical removal. Urine diversion systems depend greatly on the functionality of nonwater urinals and urine diverting toilets, which are needed to collect undiluted urine. However, the urea hydrolysis reaction creates conditions that lead to precipitation in the fixtures due to the increase in pH from 6 to 9 as ammonia and bicarbonate are produced. Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 describes the creation and use of a cyber-physical system (CPS) to monitor and control urea hydrolysis in the urinal testbed. Two control logics were used to control urea hydrolysis in realistic restroom conditions. In the experiments, acid was added to inhibit urea hydrolysis during periods of high and low building occupancy. These results were able to show that acid should be added based on the restroom use in order to efficiently inhibit urea hydrolysis.
Chapter 4 advanced the results from Chapter 3 by testing the acid addition control logics in a real restroom with the urinal-on-wheels. The results showed that adding acid during periods of high building occupancy equated to the least amount of acid added and allowed for urea hydrolysis inhibition. This study also analyzed the bacterial communities of the collected urine and found that acid addition changed the structure of the bacterial communities.
Chapter 5 showed an example of the capabilities of a CPS when implemented in CI buildings. The study used data mining methods to predict chlorine residuals in premise plumbing in a CI green building. The results showed that advance modeling methods were able to model the system better than traditional methods. These results show that CPS technology can be used to illuminate systems and can provide information needed to understand conditions within CI buildings.