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Fabrication and evaluation of hematite modified granular activated carbon (GAC) media for arsenic removal from groundwater

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The goal of the study was twofold: (i) to investigate the synthesis of hematite-impregnated granular activated carbon (Fe-GAC) by hydrolysis of Fe (III) and (ii) to assess the effectiveness of the fabricated media in removal of arsenic from water. Fe-GAC

The goal of the study was twofold: (i) to investigate the synthesis of hematite-impregnated granular activated carbon (Fe-GAC) by hydrolysis of Fe (III) and (ii) to assess the effectiveness of the fabricated media in removal of arsenic from water. Fe-GAC was synthesized by hydrolysis of Fe(III) salts under two Fe (III) initial dosages (0.5M and 2M) and two hydrolysis periods (24 hrs and 72 hrs). The iron content of the fabricated Fe-GAC media ranged from 0.9% to 4.4% Fe/g of the dry media. Pseudo-equilibrium batch test data at pH = 7.7±0.2 in 1mM NaHCO3 buffered ultrapure water and challenge groundwater representative of the Arizona Mexico border region were fitted to a Freundlich isotherm model. The findings suggested that the arsenic adsorption capacity of the metal (hydr)oxide modified GAC media is primarily controlled by the surface area of the media, while the metal content exhibited lesser effect. The adsorption capacity of the media in the model Mexican groundwater matrix was significantly lower for all adsorbent media. Continuous flow short bed adsorber tests (SBA) demonstrated that the adsorption capacity for arsenic in the challenge groundwater was reduced by a factor of 3 to 4 as a result of the mass transport effects. When compared on metal basis, the iron (hydr)oxide modified media performed comparably well as existing commercial media for treatment of arsenic. On dry mass basis, the fabricated media in this study removed less arsenic than their commercial counterparts because the metal content of the commercial media was significantly higher.

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2011

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Hexavalent chromium removal using ultraviolet photocatalytic reactor

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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

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.

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2013

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TiO2 nanomaterials: human exposure and environmental release

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Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanomaterial use is becoming more prevalent as is the likelihood of human exposure and environmental release. The goal of this thesis is to develop analytical techniques to quantify the level of TiO2 in complex matrices to support

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanomaterial use is becoming more prevalent as is the likelihood of human exposure and environmental release. The goal of this thesis is to develop analytical techniques to quantify the level of TiO2 in complex matrices to support environmental, health, and safety research of TiO2 nanomaterials. A pharmacokinetic model showed that the inhalation of TiO2 nanomaterials caused the highest amount to be absorbed and distributed throughout the body. Smaller nanomaterials (< 5nm) accumulated in the kidneys before clearance. Nanoparticles of 25 nm diameter accumulated in the liver and spleen and were cleared from the body slower than smaller nanomaterials. A digestion method using nitric acid, hydrofluoric acid, and hydrogen peroxide was found to digest organic materials and TiO2 with a recovery of >80%. The samples were measured by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and the method detection limit was 600 ng of Ti. An intratracheal instillation study of TiO2 nanomaterials in rats found anatase TiO2 nanoparticles in the caudal lung lobe of rats 1 day post instillation at a concentration of 1.2 ug/mg dry tissue, the highest deposition rate of any TiO2 nanomaterial. For all TiO2 nanomaterial morphologies the concentrations in the caudal lobes were significantly higher than those in the cranial lobes. In a study of TiO2 concentration in food products, white colored foods or foods with a hard outer shell had higher concentrations of TiO2. Hostess Powdered Donettes were found to have the highest Ti mass per serving with 200 mg Ti. As much as 3.8% of the total TiO2 mass was able to pass through a 0.45 um indicating that some of the TiO2 is likely nanosized. In a study of TiO2 concentrations in personal care products and paints, the concentration of TiO2 was as high as 117 ug/mg in Benjamin Moore white paint and 70 ug/mg in a Neutrogena sunscreen. Greater than 6% of Ti in one sunscreen was able to pass through a 0.45 um filter. The nanosized TiO2 in food products and personal care products may release as much as 16 mg of nanosized TiO2 per individual per day to wastewater.

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2011

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Fate and biological effects of engineered nanomaterials during simulated wastewater treatment processes

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As engineered nanomaterials (NMs) become used in industry and commerce their loading to sewage will increase. However, the fate of widely used NMs in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) remains poorly understood. In this research, sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) were operated

As engineered nanomaterials (NMs) become used in industry and commerce their loading to sewage will increase. However, the fate of widely used NMs in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) remains poorly understood. In this research, sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) were operated with hydraulic (HRT) and sludge (SRT) retention times representative of full-scale biological WWTPs for several weeks. NM loadings at the higher range of expected environmental concentrations were selected. To achieve the pseudo-equilibrium state concentration of NMs in biomass, SBR experiments needed to operate for more than three times the SRT value, approximately 18 days. Under the conditions tested, NMs had negligible effects on ability of the wastewater bacteria to biodegrade organic material, as measured by chemical oxygen demand (COD). NM mass balance closure was achieved by measuring NMs in liquid effluent and waste biosolids. All NMs were well removed at the typical biomass concentration (1~2 gSS/L). However, carboxy-terminated polymer coated silver nanoparticles (fn-Ag) were removed less effectively (88% removal) than hydroxylated fullerenes (fullerols; >90% removal), nano TiO2 (>95% removal) or aqueous fullerenes (nC60; >95% removal). Although most NMs did not settle out of the feed solution without bacteria present, approximately 65% of the titanium dioxide was removed even in the absence of biomass simply due to self-aggregation and settling. Experiments conducted over 4 months with daily loadings of nC60 showed that nC60 removal from solution depends on the biomass concentration. Under conditions representative of most suspended growth biological WWTPs (e.g., activated sludge), most of the NMs will accumulate in biosolids rather than in liquid effluent discharged to surface waters. Significant fractions of fn-Ag were associated with colloidal material which suggests that efficient particle separation processes (sedimentation or filtration) could further improve removal of NM from effluent. As most NMs appear to accumulate in biosolids, future research should examine the fate of NMs during disposal of WWTP biosolids, which may occur through composting or anaerobic digestion and/or land application, incineration, or landfill disposal.

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2012

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Water-energy nexus insight: optimization of source waters for DBP control

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Local municipalities in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area have voiced an interest in purchasing alternate source water with lower DBP precursors. Along the primary source is a hydroelectric dam in which water will be diverted from. This project is an assessment

Local municipalities in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area have voiced an interest in purchasing alternate source water with lower DBP precursors. Along the primary source is a hydroelectric dam in which water will be diverted from. This project is an assessment of optimizing the potential blends of source water to a water treatment plant in an effort to enable them to more readily meet DBP regulations. To perform this analysis existing water treatment models were used in conjunction with historic water quality sampling data to predict chemical usage necessary to meet DBP regulations. A retrospective analysis was performed for the summer months of 2007 regarding potential for the WTP to reduce cost through optimizing the source water by an average of 30% over the four-month period, accumulating to overall treatment savings of $154 per MG ($82 per AF).

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2011

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Metal oxide nanoparticles in electrospun polymers and their fate in aqueous waste streams

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Nanotechnology is becoming increasingly present in our environment. Engineered nanoparticles (ENPs), defined as objects that measure less than 100 nanometers in at least one dimension, are being integrated into commercial products because of their small size, increased surface area, and

Nanotechnology is becoming increasingly present in our environment. Engineered nanoparticles (ENPs), defined as objects that measure less than 100 nanometers in at least one dimension, are being integrated into commercial products because of their small size, increased surface area, and quantum effects. These special properties have made ENPs antimicrobial agents in clothing and plastics, among other applications in industries such as pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, and prosthetics. This thesis incorporates investigations into both application of nanoparticles into polymers as well as implications of nanoparticle release into the environment. First, the integration of ENPs into polymer fibers via electrospinning was explored. Electrospinning uses an external electric field applied to a polymer solution to produce continuous fibers with large surface area and small volume, a quality which makes the fibers ideal for water and air purification purposes. Indium oxide and titanium dioxide nanoparticles were embedded in polyvinylpyrrolidone and polystyrene. Viscosity, critical voltage, and diameter of electrospun fibers were analyzed in order to determine the effects of nanoparticle integration into the polymers. Critical voltage and viscosity of solution increased at 5 wt% ENP concentration. Fiber morphology was not found to change significantly as a direct effect of ENP addition, but as an effect of increased viscosity and surface tension. These results indicate the possibility for seamless integration of ENPs into electrospun polymers. Implications of ENP release were investigated using phase distribution functional assays of nanoscale silver and silver sulfide, as well as photolysis experiments of nanoscale titanium dioxide to quantify hydroxyl radical production. Functional assays are a means of screening the relevant importance of multiple processes in the environmental fate and transport of ENPs. Four functional assays – water-soil, water-octanol, water-wastewater sludge and water-surfactant – were used to compare concentrations of silver sulfide ENPs (Ag2S-NP) and silver ENPs (AgNP) capped by four different coatings. The functional assays resulted in reproducible experiments which clearly showed variations between nanoparticle phase distributions; the findings may be a product of the effects of the different coatings of the ENPs used. In addition to phase distribution experiments, the production of hydroxyl radical (HO•) by nanoscale titanium dioxide (TiO2) under simulated solar irradiation was investigated. Hydroxyl radical are a short-lived, highly reactive species produced by solar radiation in aquatic environments that affect ecosystem function and degrades pollutants. HO• is produced by photolysis of TiO2 and nitrate (NO3-); these two species were used in photolysis experiments to compare the relative loads of hydroxyl radical which nanoscale TiO2 may add upon release to natural waters. Para-chlorobenzoic acid (pCBA) was used as a probe. Measured rates of pCBA oxidation in the presence of various concentrations of TiO2 nanoparticles and NO3- were utilized to calculate pseudo first order rate constants. Results indicate that, on a mass concentration basis in water, TiO2 produces hydroxyl radical steady state concentrations at 1.3 times more than the equivalent amount of NO3-; however, TiO2 concentrations are generally less than one order of magnitude lower than concentrations of NO3-. This has implications for natural waterways as the amount of nanoscale TiO2 released from consumer products into natural waterways increases in proportion to its use.

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2015

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Occurrence and treatment of hexavalent chromium and arsenic in Arizona municipal and industrial waters

Description

Arsenic (As) and chromium (Cr) occur naturally in AZ surface and groundwaters, pose different health impacts, and exhibit different treatment efficacies. Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) has newly recognized human health concerns, and State and Federal agencies are evaluating a low Cr(VI)-specific

Arsenic (As) and chromium (Cr) occur naturally in AZ surface and groundwaters, pose different health impacts, and exhibit different treatment efficacies. Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) has newly recognized human health concerns, and State and Federal agencies are evaluating a low Cr(VI)-specific maximum contaminant level (MCL) for drinking water. Occurrence of Cr and As in municipal drinking waters and industrial cooling tower waters was quantified by grab samples and compared with sampling results obtained from a new passive sampler developed specifically for Cr(VI). Cr(VI) and As concentrations in groundwater used for cooling tower make-up water concentrations were ~3 ppb and ~4 ppb, respectively, and were concentrated significantly in blowdown water (~20 ppb and ~40 ppb). Based upon pending Cr(VI), As, and other metal regulations, these blowdown waters will need routine monitoring and treatment. Cr(VI) concentrations in a water treatment plant (WTP) raw and finished water samples varied from 0.5 and 2 ppb for grab samples collected every 4 hours for 7 consecutive days using an ISCO sampler. The development of an ion exchange (IX) based passive sampler was validated in the field at the WTP and yielded an average exposure within 1 standard deviation of ISCO sampler grab data. Sampling at both the WTP and cooling towers suggested sources of Cr(III) from treatment chemicals or wood preservatives may exist. Since both facilities use chlorine oxidants, I quantified the apparent (pH=5) second-order rate constant for aqueous chlorine (HOCl/OCl-) with Cr(III) to form Cr(VI) as 0.7 M-1s-1. Under typical conditions (2 ppb Cr(III) ; 2 mg/L Cl2) the half-life for the conversion of Cr(III) to the more toxic form Cr(VI) is 4.7 hours. The occurrence studies in AZ and CA show the Cr(VI) and As treatment of groundwaters will be required to meet stringent Cr(VI) regulations. IX technologies, both strong base anion (SBA) and weak base anion (WBA) resin types were screened (and compared) for Cr removal. The SBA IX process for As removal was optimized by utilizing a reactive iron coagulation and filtration (RCF) process to treat spent IX brine, which was then reused to for SBA resin regeneration.

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2014

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Use of granular activated carbon and carbon block filters at municipal and point of use drinking water treatment for removal of organics

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Activated Carbon has been used for decades to remove organics from water at large scale in municipal water treatment as well as at small scale in Point of Use (POU) and Point of Entry (POE) water treatment. This study focused

Activated Carbon has been used for decades to remove organics from water at large scale in municipal water treatment as well as at small scale in Point of Use (POU) and Point of Entry (POE) water treatment. This study focused on Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) and also activated Carbon Block (CB) were studied.

This thesis has three related elements for organics control in drinking water. First, coagulation chemistry for Alum and Aluminum Chlorohydrate (ACH) was optimized for significant organics removal to address membrane fouling issue at a local municipal water treatment plant in Arizona. Second, Rapid Small Scale Column Tests were conducted for removal of Perfluorinated compounds (PFC), PFC were present in groundwater at a local site in Arizona at trace levels with combined concentration of Perfluorooctaneoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfloorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) up to 245 ng/L. Groundwater from the concerned site is used as drinking water source by a private utility. PFC Removal was evaluated for different GAC, influent concentrations and particle sizes. Third, a new testing protocol (Mini Carbon Block (MCB)) for bench scale study of POU water treatment device, specifically carbon block filter was developed and evaluated. The new bench scale decreased the hydraulic requirements by 60 times approximately, which increases the feasibility to test POU at a lab scale. It was evaluated for a common POU organic contaminant: Chloroform, and other model contaminants.

10 mg/L of ACH and 30 mg/L of Alum with pH adjustment were determined as optimal coagulant doses. Bituminous coal based GAC was almost three times better than coconut shell based GAC for removing PFC. Multiple tests with MCB suggested no short circuiting and consistent performance for methylene blue though chloroform removal tests underestimated full scale carbon block performance but all these tests creates a good theoretical and practical fundament for this new approach and provides directions for future researchers.

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2017

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Immobilization of T4 on modified silica particles

Description

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

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.

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2017

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Comparative analysis of adsorptive media treatment for arsenic at SRP groundwater wells

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Arsenic (As) is a naturally occurring element that poses a health risk when continually consumed at levels exceeding the Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 10 ppb. With the Arizona Department of Water Resources considering reliance on

Arsenic (As) is a naturally occurring element that poses a health risk when continually consumed at levels exceeding the Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 10 ppb. With the Arizona Department of Water Resources considering reliance on other sources of water other than just solely surface water, groundwater proves a reliable, supplemental source. The Salt River Project (SRP) wants to effectively treat their noncompliance groundwater sources to meet EPA compliance. Rapid small-scale column tests (RSSCTs) of two SRP controlled groundwater wells along the Eastern Canal and Consolidated Canal were designed to assist SRP in selection and future design of full-scale packed bed adsorbent media. Main concerns for column choice is effectiveness, design space at groundwater wells, and simplicity. Two adsorbent media types were tested for effective treatment of As to below the MCL: a synthetic iron oxide, Bayoxide E33, and a strong base anion exchange resin, SBG-1. Both media have high affinity toward As and prove effective at treating As from these groundwater sources. Bayoxide E33 RSSCT performance indicated that As treatment lasted to near 60,000 bed volumes (BV) in both water sources and still showed As adsorption extending past this operation ranging from several months to a year. SBG-1 RSSCT performance indicated As, treatment lasted to 500 BV, with the added benefit of being regenerated. At 5%, 13%, and 25% brine regeneration concentrations, regeneration showed that 5% brine is effective, yet would complicate overall design and footprint. Bayoxide E33 was selected as the best adsorbent media for SRP use in full-scale columns at groundwater wells due to its simplistic design and high efficiency.

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2015