Matching Items (175)

Earth Systems Engineering and Management as Governance

Description

Earth Systems Engineering and Management (ESEM) is a framework for both discussing and addressing the adaptive management of complex socio-ecological systems (SES). Governance of emerging technologies is an SES challenge

Earth Systems Engineering and Management (ESEM) is a framework for both discussing and addressing the adaptive management of complex socio-ecological systems (SES). Governance of emerging technologies is an SES challenge that demonstrates all the classic symptoms of a wicked problem. This paper surveys governance literature in light of the ESEM principles and explores the potential for using the principles of ESEM as a mechanism for governance, addressing particularly ESEM’s overlap with the recently promulgated anticipatory governance as defined by its three pillars of foresight, engagement, and integration. This paper demonstrates that the intersection of these concepts is significant and concludes that ESEM is a worthy framework for governance.

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Potential for Accumulation of Boron in Direct Potable Reuse

Description

This report analyzes the potential for accumulation of boron in direct potable reuse. Direct potable reuse treats water through desalination processes such as reverse osmosis or nanofiltration which can achieve

This report analyzes the potential for accumulation of boron in direct potable reuse. Direct potable reuse treats water through desalination processes such as reverse osmosis or nanofiltration which can achieve rejection rates of salts sometimes above 90%. However, boron achieves much lower rejection rates near 40%. Because of this low rejection rate, there is potential for boron to accumulate in the system to levels that are not recommended for potable human consumption of water. To analyze this issue a code was created that runs a steady state system that tracks the internal concentration, permeate concentration, wastewater concentration and reject concentration at various rejection rates, as well as all the flows. A series of flow and mass balances were performed through five different control volumes that denoted different stages in the water use. First was mixing of clean water with permeate; second, consumptive uses; third, addition of contaminant; fourth, wastewater treatment; fifth, advanced water treatments. The system cycled through each of these a number of times until steady state was reached. Utilities or cities considering employing direct potable reuse could utilize this model by estimating their consumption levels and input of contamination, and then seeing what percent rejection or inflow of makeup water they would need to obtain to keep boron levels at a low enough concentration to be fit for consumption. This code also provides options for analyzing spikes and recovery in the system due to spills, and evaporative uses such as cooling towers and their impact on the system.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-12

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Continuous Hydrogen Peroxide Production using Microbial Electrochemical Cells

Description

Alternative ion exchange membranes for implementation in a peroxide production microbial electrochemical cel (PP-MEC) are explored through membrane stability tests with NaCl electrolyte and stabilizer EDTA at varying operational pHs.

Alternative ion exchange membranes for implementation in a peroxide production microbial electrochemical cel (PP-MEC) are explored through membrane stability tests with NaCl electrolyte and stabilizer EDTA at varying operational pHs. PP-MEC performance parameters \u2014 H2O2 concentration, current density, coulombic efficiency and power input required \u2014 are optimized over a 7 month continuous operation period based on their response to changes in HRT, EDTA concentration, air flow rate and electrolyte. I found that EDTA was compatible for use with the membranes. I also determined that AMI membranes were preferable to CMI and FAA because it was consistently stable and maintained its structural integrity. Still, I suggest testing more membranes because the AMI degraded in continuous operation. The PP-MEC produced up to 0.38 wt% H2O2, enough to perform water treatment through the Fenton process and significantly greater than the 0.13 wt% batch PP-MEC tests by previous researchers. It ran at > 0.20 W-hr/g H2O2 power input, ~ three orders of magnitude less than what is required for the anthraquinone process. I recommend high HRT and EDTA concentration while running the PP- MEC to increase H2O2 concentration, but low HRT and low EDTA concentration to decrease power input required. I recommend NaCl electrolyte but suggest testing new electrolytes that may control pH without degrading H2O2. I determined that air flow rate has no effect on PP-MEC operation. These recommendations should optimize PP-MEC operation based on its application.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Exploring the consequences of permeate recycling in a photobioreactor using multi-component, community-level modelling

Description

While biodiesel production from photosynthesizing algae is a promising form of alternative energy, the process is water and nutrient intensive. I designed a mathematical model for a photobioreactor system that

While biodiesel production from photosynthesizing algae is a promising form of alternative energy, the process is water and nutrient intensive. I designed a mathematical model for a photobioreactor system that filters the reactor effluent and returns the permeate to the system so that unutilized nutrients are not wasted, addressing these problems. The model tracks soluble and biomass components that govern the rates of the processes within the photobioreactor (PBR). It considers light attenuation and inhibition, nutrient limitation, preference for ammonia consumption over nitrate, production of soluble microbial products (SMP) and extracellular polymeric substance (EPS), and competition with heterotrophic bacteria that predominately consume SMP. I model a continuous photobioreactor + microfiltration system under nine unique operation conditions - three dilution rates and three recycling rates. I also evaluate the health of a PBR under different dilution rates for two values of qpred. I evaluate the success of each run by calculating values such as biomass productivity and specific biomass yield. The model shows that for low dilution rates (D = <0.2 d-1) and high recycling rates (>66%), nutrient limitation can lead to a PBR crash. In balancing biomass productivity with water conservation, the most favorable runs were those in which the dilution rate and the recycling rate were highest. In a second part of my thesis, I developed a model that describes the interactions of phototrophs and their predators. The model also shows that dilution rates corresponding to realistic PBR operation can washout predators from the system, but the simulation outputs depend heavily on the accuracy of parameters that are not well defined.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Characterization of DOC in "Accidental" Urban Wetlands in Phoenix, AZ

Description

Accidental wetlands have been created on the bed of the Salt River and are fed by storm-water outfalls discharging at various sections of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Water discharges from

Accidental wetlands have been created on the bed of the Salt River and are fed by storm-water outfalls discharging at various sections of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Water discharges from these outfalls throughout the year, during both dry conditions (base flow) and during rain events (storm flow). In this study, DOC content and composition was studied during these two flow conditions, in the outfalls and along the wetland flow path. The importance of DOC lies in its role in transporting carbon via water movement, between different parts of a landscape, and therefore between pools in the ecosystem. Urbanization has influenced content and composition of DOC entering the accidental urban wetland via outfalls as they represent watersheds from different areas in Phoenix. First, DOC load exhibited higher quantities during stormflow compared to baseflow conditions. Second, DOC load and fluorescence analysis outcomes concluded the outfalls are different from each other. The inputs of water on the north side of the channel represent City of Phoenix watersheds were similar to each other and had high DOC load. The northern outfalls are both different in load and composition from the outfall pipe on the southern bank of the wetland as it represents South Mountain watershed. Fluorescence analysis results also concluded compositional changes occurred along the wetland flow path during both stormflow and baseflow conditions. In this study, it was explored how urbanization and the associated changes in hydrology and geomorphology have affected a desert wetland's carbon content.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Risk Assessment and Toxicity to Terrestrial Plants of Soil Contaminated by Heavy Hydrocarbons and Treated with Ozone

Description

Terrestrial crude oil spills compromise a soil’s ability to provide ecosystem services by inhibiting plant life and threatening groundwater integrity. Ozone gas, a powerful oxidant, shows promise to aid in

Terrestrial crude oil spills compromise a soil’s ability to provide ecosystem services by inhibiting plant life and threatening groundwater integrity. Ozone gas, a powerful oxidant, shows promise to aid in soil recovery by degrading petroleum hydrocarbons into more bioavailable and biodegradable chemicals. However, previous research has shown that ozone can change the soil pH and create harmful organic compounds.
The research objective was to determine the short-term ecological toxicity of ozonation byproducts on seed germination of three distinct plant types (radish, lettuce, and grass) compared to untreated and uncontaminated soils. We hypothesize that the reduction of heavy hydrocarbon contamination in soil by ozone application will provide more suitable habitat for the germinating seeds. The effect of ozone treatment on seed germination and seedling quality was measured using ASTM standards for early seedling growth in conjunction with a gradient of potting soil amendments. Ozonation parameters were measured using established methods and include total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and pH.
This study demonstrated the TPH levels fall up to 22% with ozonation, suggesting TPH removal is related to the amount of ozone delivered as opposed to the type of crude oil present. The DOC values increase comparably across crude oil types as the ozonation dose increases (from a background level of 0.25 g to 6.2 g/kg dry soil at the highest ozone level), suggesting that DOC production is directly related to the amount of ozone, not crude oil type. While ozonation reduced the mass of heavy hydrocarbons in the soil, it increased the amount of ozonation byproducts in the soil. For the three types of seeds used in the study, these changes in concentrations of TPH and DOC affected the species differently; however, no seed type showed improved germination after ozone treatment. Thus, ozone treatment by itself had a negative impact on germination potential.
Future research should focus on the effects of post-ozonation, long-term bioremediation on eco-toxicity. By helping define the eco-toxicity of ozonation techniques, this research can improve upon previously established ozone techniques for petroleum remediation and provide economic and environmental benefits when used for soil treatment.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Examining Biofouling on Pristine and Aged Microplastics Exposed to Tempe Town Lake Water

Description

This study investigated the difference in biofilm growth between pristine polypropylene microplastics and aged polypropylene microplastics. The microplastics were added to Tempe Town Lake water for 4 weeks. Each week

This study investigated the difference in biofilm growth between pristine polypropylene microplastics and aged polypropylene microplastics. The microplastics were added to Tempe Town Lake water for 4 weeks. Each week the microplastic biofilms were quantified. Comparing the total biofilm counts, the results showed that the aged microplastic biofilms were larger than the pristine each week. By week 3 the aged microplastic counts had almost doubled in size increasing from 324 to 626 Colony Forming Units per gram in just one week. There was a significant difference in the diversity found from week 1 to week 4. About 40% of the diversity for the pristine microplastic biofilm was seen as light-yellow dots and about 60% of these dots were seen on the aged microplastic biofilms in both weeks. As the microplastics were submerged in the lake water, new phenotypes emerged varying from week 1 to week 4 and from pristine to aged microplastic biofilms. Generally, it was found that as the microplastics stay in the environment there is more biofilm on the particles. The aged microplastics have a larger amount of biofouling, and the pristine microplastic biofilms were found to have more diversity of phenotypes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Visible and Ultraviolet Light Side-Emitting Optical Fibers Enable Water Purification

Description

Light-driven reactions can replace chemical and material consumption of advanced water treatment technologies. A barrier to light-driven water treatment is optical obstructions in aquafers (i.e. granular media) or built infrastructures

Light-driven reactions can replace chemical and material consumption of advanced water treatment technologies. A barrier to light-driven water treatment is optical obstructions in aquafers (i.e. granular media) or built infrastructures (i.e. tubing) that limits light propagation from a single source such as the sun, or lamps. Side emitting optical fibers (SEOFs) can increase light distribution by > 1000 X from one-point source, but absorbance of UV light by conventional optical fibers limits their application to visible light only.

This dissertation assessed how SEOFs can enable visible through ultraviolet light-driven processes to purify water. I first used an existing visible light polymer SEOF and phototrophic organisms to increase the dissolved oxygen level of a granular sand reactor to > 15 mg DO/L. The results indicated that SEOFs successfully guide light past optical obstructions for environmental remediation which encouraged the fabrication of UV-C SEOFs for microbial inactivation.

I was the first to obtain consecutive UV-C side emission from optical fibers by placing nanoparticles on the surface of a UV transmitting glass core. The nanoparticles induced side-emission via Mie scattering and interactions with the evanescent wave. The side emission intensity was modulated by tuning the separation distance between the nanoparticle and fiber surface. Coating the fiber with a UV-C transparent polymer offered the optical fiber flexibility and prevented nanoparticle release into solution. One SEOF coupled to a 265 nm LED achieved 3-log inactivation of E. coli. Finally, a method was developed to quantify the zone of inhibition obtained by a low flux output source. By placing a SEOF connected to a UV-C LED over a nutrient-rich LB agar plate, I illustrated that one SEOF inhibited the growth of P. aeruginosa and E. coli within 2.8 cm along the fiber’s length. Ultimately this research informed that side-emitting optical fibers can enable light-driven water purification by guiding and distributing specific wavelengths of light directly to the microbial communities of interest.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Colonization of granular activated carbon media filters by Legionella and heterotrophic bacterial cells

Description

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

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.

This study focuses on one such pathogen Legionella pneumophila which is resistant to environmental stressors and treatment conditions. It is also responsible for Legionnaires' disease outbreak through drinking water thus attracting attention of regulatory agencies. The work assessed the attachment and colonization of Legionella and heterotrophic bacteria in lab scale GAC media column filters. Quantification of Legionella and HPC in the influent, effluent, column's biofilms and on the GAC particles was performed over time using fluorescent microscopy and culture based techniques.

The results indicated gradual increase in the colonization of the GAC particles with HPC bacteria. Initially high number of Legionella cells were detected in the column effluent and were not detected on GAC suggesting low attachment of the cells to the particles potentially due to lack of any previous biofilms. With the initial colonization of the filter media by other bacteria the number of Legionella cells on the GAC particles and biofilms also increased. Presence of Legionella was confirmed in all the samples collected from the columns spiked with Legionella. Significant increase in the Legionella was observed in column's inner surface biofilm (0.25 logs up to 0.52 logs) and on GAC particles (0.42 logs up to 0.63 logs) after 2 months. Legionella and HPC attached to column's biofilm were higher than that on GAC particles indicating the strong association with biofilms. The bacterial concentration slowly increased in the effluent. This may be due to column's wall effect decreasing filter efficiency, possible exhaustion of GAC capacity over time and potential bacterial growth.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Airborne dispersion and plume modeling of Legionella bacteria

Description

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

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 plume dispersion modeling, and recommendations for reducing potential Legionella outbreaks. The aerosolization and airborne dispersion of Legionella and E. coli was conducted separately inside of a closed environment. First, the bacterial cells were sprayed inside of an airtight box and then samples were collected using a microbial air sampler to measure the number of bacterial cells aerosolized and transported in air. Furthermore, a Gaussian plume dispersion model was used to estimate the dispersion under the experimental conditions and parameters. The concentration of Legionella was estimated for a person inhaling the air at three different distances away from the spray. The concentration of Legionella at distances of 0.1 km, 1 km, and 10 km away from the source was predicted to be 1.7x10-1, 2.2x10-3, and 2.6x10-5 CFU/m3, respectively.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014