Matching Items (102)
- All Subjects: Environmental engineering
- Genre: Masters Thesis
- Status: Published
Development of a monitoring and maintenance program for residential wells used for groundwater abstraction in Lagos State, Nigeria
In rural and urban areas of Nigeria, dependence on groundwater is increasing since the population is growing and high quality, treated municipal water is scarce. Municipal drinking water is often compromised because of old and leaking distribution pipes. About 58% of the water consumed in Lagos State, Nigeria, comes from residential wells. However, a majority of residential wells are shallow wells that are constructed relatively close to septic tanks or pit latrines and are therefore subject to contamination. In certain parts of Africa, there is high potential of severe epidemic if water quality is not improved. With increasing reliance on groundwater, a need exists to monitor the quality of groundwater. This thesis develops a plan for a monitoring program for residential wells in Lagos State, Nigeria. The program focuses on ways by which owners can maintain reasonably good water quality, and on the role of government in implementing water quality requirements. In addition, this thesis describes a survey conducted in various areas of Lagos State to assess community awareness of the importance of groundwater quality and its impact on individuals and the community at large. The survey shows that 30% to 40% of the households have located their wells and septic tanks in the same general area. Various templates have been created to help the staff of a future monitoring program team to effectively gather information during site characterization. A "Questions and Answers" leaflet has been developed to educate citizens about the need for monitoring residential wells.
Coupling bioflocculation of Dehalococcoides to high-dechlorination rates for ex situ and in situ bioremediation
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 of Dehalococcoides mccartyi-containing cultures can lead to high density inocula and high-performance, fast-rate bioaugmentation culture for in situ treatment. The successful operation of our pilot scale bioreactor led to the assessment of the technology as an onsite ex-situ treatment system. The bioreactor was then fed TCE-contaminated groundwater from the Motorola Inc. 52nd Street Plant Superfund site in Phoenix, AZ augmented with the lactate and methanol. The bioreactor maintained >99% dechlorination of TCE to ethene during continuous operation at an HRT of 3.2 hours. Microbial community analysis under both experimental conditions reveals shifts in the community structure although maintaining high rate dechlorination. High density dechlorinating cultures containing bioflocs can provide new ways to 1) produce dense bioaugmentation cultures, 2) perform ex-situ bioremediation of TCE, and 3) increase our understanding of Dehalococcoides mccartyi critical microbial interactions that can be exploited at contaminated sites in order to improve long-term bioremediation schemes.
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 species.
Electronic waste (E-waste) is a concern, because of the increasing volume of materials being disposed of. There are economical, social and environmental implications derived from these materials. For example, the international trade of used computers creates jobs, but the recovery from valuable materials is technically challenging and currently there are environmental and health problems derived from inappropriate recycling practices. Forecasting the flows of used computers and e-waste materials supports the prevention of environmental impacts. However, the nature of these material flows is complex. There are technological geographical and cultural factors that affect how users purchase, store or dispose of their equipment. The result of these dynamics is a change in the composition and volume of these flows. Collectors are affected by these factors and the presence of markets, labor and transportation costs. In northern Mexico, there is an international flow of new and used computers between Mexico and the United States and an internal flow of materials and products among Mexican cities. In order to understand the behavior of these flows a field study was carried out in 8 different Mexican cities. Stake holders were interviewed and through a structured analysis the system and the relevant stakeholders were expressed as Data Flow Diagrams in order; to understand the critical parts from the system. The results show that Mexican cities have important qualitative differences. For example, location and size define the availability of resources to manage e-waste. Decisions to dispose a computer depend on international factors such as the price of new computers, but also on regional factors such as the cost to repair them. Decisions to store a computer depend on external factors such as markets, but also internal factors such as how users perceive the value of old equipment. E-waste collection depends on the value of e-waste, but also on costs to collect and extract value from them. The main implication is that a general policy base on how E-waste is managed at a big city might not be the most efficient for a small one. More over combining strengths from different cities might overcome respective weaknesses and create new opportunities; this integration can be stimulated by designing policies that consider diversity
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, most of them have failed for various factors: geographic restrictions by governmental organizations on use of technology, cost of technology, the inability of industries to effectively communicate their upstream and downstream resource usage, and to diminishing natural resources such as water, land and non-renewable energy (NRE) sources for energy production.
This paper presents a feasibility study conducted to evaluate the comparative environmental, economic, and geographic impacts arising from the use of renewable energy (RE) and NRE to power EIPs. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology, which is used in a variety of sectors to evaluate the environmental merits and demerits of different kinds of products and processes, was employed for comparison between these two energy production methods based on factors such as greenhouse gas emission, acidification potential, eutrophication potential, human toxicity potential, fresh water usage and land usage. To complement the environmental LCA analysis, levelized cost of electricity was used to evaluate the economic impact. This model was analyzed for two different geographic locations; United States and Europe, for 12 different energy production technologies.
The outcome of this study points out the environmental, economic and geographic superiority of one energy source over the other, including the total carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, which can then be related to the total number of carbon credits that can be earned or used to mitigate the overall carbon emission and move closer towards a net zero carbon footprint goal thus making the EIPs truly sustainable.
Implementation of emerging technologies: treatment capability of peracetic acid and ultraviolet irradiation
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 (UVT), pH and chlorine residual. Pilot study UV experiments indicate the unit is effectively treating flow streams (>6 logs total coliforms) twice the 95% UVT unit capacity (750 GPM or 17 mJ/cm2 UV Dose). The results were inconclusive on PAA/UV inactivation due to high data variability and field operation conditions creating low inlet concentrations.Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria and the enterobacteria phage P22—a surrogate for enteric viruses—were analyzed. UV inactivated >7.9 and 4 logs of E. coli and P22 respectively at a 16.8 mJ/cm2 UV dose in test water containing a significant organics concentration. When PAA doses of 0.25 and 0.5 mg/L were injected upstream of UV at approximately the same UV Dose, the average E.coli log inactivation increased to >8.9 and >9 logs respectively, but P22 inactivation decreased to 2.9 and 3.0 logs, respectively. A bench-scale study with PAA was also conducted for 5, 10 and 30 minutes of contact time, where 0.25 and 0.5 mg/L had <1 log inactivation of E. coli and P22 after 30 minutes of contact time. In addition, degradation of the chemical N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in tap water was analyzed, where UV degraded NDMA by 48 to 97% for 4 and 0.5 GPM flowrates, respectively. Adding 0.5 mg/L PAA upstream of UV did not significantly improve NDMA degradation.
The results under laboratory conditions indicate that PAA/UV have synergy in the inactivation of bacteria, but decrease virus inactivation. In addition, the pilot study demonstrates the applicability of the technology for full scale operation.
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 permeability-selectivity trade off by offering nanochannels for water molecules to sieve through, protect polyamide from trace amounts of chlorine, as well as increase the hydrophilicity of the membrane thereby reducing biofouling potential. This project focuses on the impacts of GO on the permeability selectivity tradeoff. The hypothesis of this work is that the permeability and selectivity of GO can be tuned by controlling the oxidation level of the material. To test this hypothesis, a range of GO materials were produced in the lab using different graphite oxidation methods. The synthesized GOs were characterized by X-ray diffraction and X-ray photoelectron microscopy to show that the spacing is a function of the GO oxygen content. From these materials, two were selected due to their optimal sheet spacing between 3.4 and 7 angstroms and embedded into desalination MMM. This work reveals that the water permeability coefficient of MMM embedded with GO and RGO increased significantly; however, that the salt permeability coefficient of the membrane also increased. Future research directions are proposed to overcome this limitation.
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 to their host bacteria while adsorbed on the surface of the silica particles. It is reported that the number of infective phage bound to the silica is enhanced by the immobilization method. It was determined that covalent attachment yielded 106 PFU/ml while electrostatic attachment resulted in 105 PFU/ml.
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 bodies of water, they are exposed to sunlight, which contains oxidative ultraviolet (UV) light. Since the microplastics are exposed to oxidants during and after the treatment, there is a strong chance that they will undergo chemical and/or physical changes. The WWTP conditions were replicated in the lab by varying the concentrations of chlorine from 70 to 100 mg/L in increments of 10 mg/L and incubating the samples in chlorine baths for 1–9 days. The chlorinated samples were tested for any structural changes using Raman spectroscopy. High density polyethylene (HDPE), polystyrene (PS), and polypropylene (PP) were treated in chlorine baths and observed for Raman intensity variations, Raman peak shifts, and the formation of new peaks over different exposure times. HDPE responded with a lot of oxidation peaks and shifts of peaks after just one day. For the degradation of semi-crystalline polymers, there was a reduction in crystallinity, as verified by thermal analysis. There was a decrease in the enthalpy of melting as well as the melting temperature with an increase in the exposure time or chlorine concentration, which pointed at the degradation of plastics and bond cleavages. To test the plastic response to
UV, the samples were exposed to sunlight for up to 210 days and analyzed under Raman spectroscopy. Overall the physical and chemical changes with the polymers are evident and makes a way for the wastewater treatment plant to take necessary steps to capture the microplastics to avoid the release of any kind of degraded microplastics that could affect marine life and the environment.
Flux performance and silver leaching from in-situ synthesized silver nanoparticle treated reverse osmosis point of use membranes
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 analyses of the silver-coated spiral-wound were conducted in a mobile drinking water treatment system fitted with two POU units for comparison. Five month-long analyses were performed, including a deployment of the mobile system. In addition to flux, salt rejection, and other water quality analyses, additional membrane characterization tests were conducted on pristine and silver-coated membranes.
For flat sheet membranes coated with silver, the surface charge remained negative and contact angle remained below 90. Scaling up to spiral-wound RO membrane configuration was successful, with an average silver-loading of 1.93 g-Ag/cm2. Results showed the flux of water through the membrane ranged from 8 to 13 liters/m2*hr. (LMH) operating at 25% recovery during long-term of operation. The flux was initially decreased due to the silver coating, but no statistically significant differences were observed after 14 days of operation (P < 0.05). The salt rejection was also not effected due to the silver coating (P < 0.05). While 98% of silver was released during long-term studies, the silver release from the spiral-wound membrane was consistently below the secondary MCL of 100 ppb established by the EPA, and was consistently below 5 ppb after two hours of operation. Microbial assays in the form of heterotrophic plate counts suggested there was no statistically significant difference in the prevention of biofouling formation due to the silver coating (P < 0.05). In addition to performance tests and membrane characterizations, a remote data acquisition system was configured to remotely monitor performance and water quality parameters in the mobile system.