Matching Items (19)

Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Nano-Metal Embedded Water Treatment Resins

Description

In an effort to provide drinking water treatment options that are simple to operate, two hybrid resins have been developed that can treat multiple pollutants in a single step. A

In an effort to provide drinking water treatment options that are simple to operate, two hybrid resins have been developed that can treat multiple pollutants in a single step. A parent weak base anion exchange resin is embedded with nanoparticles made of either iron hydroxide or titanium dioxide (Fe-WBAX and Ti-WBAX, respectively). These provide targeted treatment for both arsenic and hexavalent chromium, common groundwater pollutants of recent regulatory significance. The project goal is to evaluate the environmentally preferable choice between Fe-WBAX and Ti-WBAX resin for simultaneous treatment of arsenic and hexavalent chromium in drinking water. The secondary goal is to identify where in the product life cycle is the most opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of the use of either product.

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Date Created
  • 2014-06-13

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Evaluation of vapor intrusion pathway assessment through long-term monitoring studies

Description

Vapor intrusion (VI) pathway assessment often involves the collection and analysis of groundwater, soil gas, and indoor air data. There is temporal variability in these data, but little is

Vapor intrusion (VI) pathway assessment often involves the collection and analysis of groundwater, soil gas, and indoor air data. There is temporal variability in these data, but little is understood about the characteristics of that variability and how it influences pathway assessment decision-making. This research included the first-ever collection of a long-term high-frequency indoor air data set at a house with VI impacts overlying a dilute chlorinated solvent groundwater plume. It also included periodic synoptic snapshots of groundwater and soil gas data and high-frequency monitoring of building conditions and environmental factors. Indoor air trichloroethylene (TCE) concentrations varied over three orders-of-magnitude under natural conditions, with the highest daily VI activity during fall, winter, and spring months. These data were used to simulate outcomes from common sampling strategies, with the result being that there was a high probability (up to 100%) of false-negative decisions and poor characterization of long-term exposure. Temporal and spatial variability in subsurface data were shown to increase as the sampling point moves from source depth to ground surface, with variability of an order-of-magnitude or more for sub-slab soil gas. It was observed that indoor vapor sources can cause subsurface vapor clouds and that it can take days to weeks for soil gas plumes created by indoor sources to dissipate following indoor source removal. A long-term controlled pressure method (CPM) test was conducted to assess its utility as an alternate approach for VI pathway assessment. Indoor air concentrations were similar to maximum concentrations under natural conditions (9.3 μg/m3 average vs. 13 μg/m3 for 24 h TCE data) with little temporal variability. A key outcome was that there were no occurrences of false-negative results. Results suggest that CPM tests can produce worst-case exposure conditions at any time of the year. The results of these studies highlight the limitations of current VI pathway assessment approaches and demonstrate the need for robust alternate diagnostic tools, such as CPM, that lead to greater confidence in data interpretation and decision-making.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Moderating power: municipal interbasin groundwater transfers in Arizona

Description

The act of moving water across basins is a recent phenomenon in Arizona water policy. This thesis creates a narrative arc for understanding the long-term issues that set precedents for

The act of moving water across basins is a recent phenomenon in Arizona water policy. This thesis creates a narrative arc for understanding the long-term issues that set precedents for interbasin water transportation and the immediate causes--namely the passage of the seminal Groundwater Management Act (GMA) in 1980--that motivated Scottsdale, Mesa, and Phoenix to acquire rural farmlands in the mid-1980s with the intent of transporting the underlying groundwater back to their respective service areas in the immediate future. Residents of rural areas were active participants in not only the sales of these farmlands, but also in how municipalities would economically develop these properties in the years to come. Their role made these municipal "water farm" purchases function as exchanges. Fears about the impact of these properties and the water transportation they anticipated on communities-of-origin; the limited nature of economic, fiscal, and hydrologic data at the time; and the rise of private water speculators turned water farms into a major political controversy. The six years it took the legislature to wrestle with the problem at the heart this issue--the value of water to rural communities--were among its most tumultuous. The loss of key lawmakers involved in GMA negotiations, the impeachment of Governor Evan Mecham, and a bribery scandal called AZScam collectively sidetracked negotiations. Even more critical was the absence of a mutual recognition that these water farms posed a problem and the external pressure that had forced all parties involved in earlier groundwater-related negotiations to craft compromise. After cities and speculators failed to force a bill favorable to their interests in 1989, a re-alignment among blocs occurred: cities joined with rural interests to craft legislation that grandfathered in existing urban water farms and limited future water farms to several basins. In exchange, rural interests supported a bill to create a Phoenix-area groundwater replenishment district that enabled cooperative management of water supplies. These two bills, which were jointly signed into law in June 1991, tentatively resolved the water farm issue. The creation of a groundwater replenishment district that has subsidized growth in Maricopa, Pinal, and Pima Counties, the creation water bank to store unused Central Arizona Project water for times of drought, and a host of water conservation measures and water leases enabled by the passage of several tribal water rights settlements have set favorable conditions such that Scottsdale, Mesa, and Phoenix never had any reason to transport any water from their water farms. The legacy of these properties then is that they were the product of the intense urgency and uncertainty in urban planning premised on assumptions of growing populations and complementary, inelastic demand. But even as per capita water consumption has declined throughout the Phoenix-area, continued growth has increased demand, beyond the capacity of available supplies so that there will likely be a new push for rural water farms in the foreseeable future.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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A new approach to groundwater remediation treatability studies: moving flow-through column experiments from laboratory to in situ operation

Description

In situ remediation of contaminated aquifers, specifically in situ bioremediation (ISB), has gained popularity over pump-and-treat operations. It represents a more sustainable approach that can also achieve complete mineralization of

In situ remediation of contaminated aquifers, specifically in situ bioremediation (ISB), has gained popularity over pump-and-treat operations. It represents a more sustainable approach that can also achieve complete mineralization of contaminants in the subsurface. However, the subsurface reality is very complex, characterized by hydrodynamic groundwater movement, geological heterogeneity, and mass-transfer phenomena governing contaminant transport and bioavailability. These phenomena cannot be properly studied using commonly conducted laboratory batch microcosms lacking realistic representation of the processes named above. Instead, relevant processes are better understood by using flow-through systems (sediment columns). However, flow-through column studies are typically conducted without replicates. Due to additional sources of variability (e.g., flow rate variation between columns and over time), column studies are expected to be less reproducible than simple batch microcosms. This was assessed through a comprehensive statistical analysis of results from multiple batch and column studies. Anaerobic microbial biotransformations of trichloroethene and of perchlorate were chosen as case studies. Results revealed that no statistically significant differences were found between reproducibility of batch and column studies. It has further been recognized that laboratory studies cannot accurately reproduce many phenomena encountered in the field. To overcome this limitation, a down-hole diagnostic device (in situ microcosm array - ISMA) was developed, that enables the autonomous operation of replicate flow-through sediment columns in a realistic aquifer setting. Computer-aided design (CAD), rapid prototyping, and computer numerical control (CNC) machining were used to create a tubular device enabling practitioners to conduct conventional sediment column studies in situ. A case study where two remediation strategies, monitored natural attenuation and bioaugmentation with concomitant biostimulation, were evaluated in the laboratory and in situ at a perchlorate-contaminated site. Findings demonstrate the feasibility of evaluating anaerobic bioremediation in a moderately aerobic aquifer. They further highlight the possibility of mimicking in situ remediation strategies on the small-scale in situ. The ISMA is the first device offering autonomous in situ operation of conventional flow-through sediment microcosms and producing statistically significant data through the use of multiple replicates. With its sustainable approach to treatability testing and data gathering, the ISMA represents a versatile addition to the toolbox of scientists and engineers.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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

Description

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.

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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Date Created
  • 2015

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Synergistic reductive dechlorination of 1,1,1-trichloroethane and trichloroethene and aerobic degradation of 1,4-dioxane

Description

Widespread use of chlorinated solvents for commercial and industrial purposes makes co-occurring contamination by 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA), trichloroethene (TCE), and 1,4-dioxane (1,4-D) a serious problem for groundwater. TCE and TCA

Widespread use of chlorinated solvents for commercial and industrial purposes makes co-occurring contamination by 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA), trichloroethene (TCE), and 1,4-dioxane (1,4-D) a serious problem for groundwater. TCE and TCA often are treated by reductive dechlorination, while 1,4-D resists reductive treatment. Aerobic bacteria are able to oxidize 1,4-D, but the biological oxidation of 1,4-D could be inhibited TCA, TCE, and their reductive transformation products. To overcome the challenges from co-occurring contamination, I propose a two-stage synergistic system. First, anaerobic reduction of the chlorinated hydrocarbons takes place in a H2-based hollow-fiber “X-film” (biofilm or catalyst-coated film) reactor (MXfR), where “X-film” can be a “bio-film” (MBfR) or an abiotic “palladium-film” (MPfR). Then, aerobic removal of 1,4-D and other organic compounds takes place in an O2-based MBfR. For the reductive part, I tested reductive bio-dechlorination of TCA and TCE simultaneously in an MBfR. I found that the community of anaerobic bacteria can rapidly reduce TCE to cis-dichloroethene (cis-DCE), but further reductions of cis-DCE to vinyl chloride (VC) and VC to ethene were inhibited by TCA. Also, it took months to grow a strong biofilm that could reduce TCA and TCE. Another problem with reductive dechlorination in the MBfR is that mono-chloroethane (MCA) was not reduced to ethane. In contrast, a film of palladium nano-particles (PdNPs), i.e., an MPfR, could the simultaneous reductions of TCA and TCE to mainly ethane, with only small amounts of intermediates: 1,1-dichloroethane (DCA) (~3% of total influent TCA and TCE) and MCA (~1%) in continuous operation. For aerobic oxidation, I enriched an ethanotrophic culture that could oxidize 1,4-D with ethane as the primary electron donor. An O2-based MBfR, inoculated with the enriched ethanotrophic culture, achieved over 99% 1,4-D removal with ethane as the primary electron donor in continuous operation. Finally, I evaluated two-stage treatment with a H2-based MPfR followed by an O2-MBfR. The two-stage system gave complete removal of TCA, TCE, and 1,4-D in continuous operation.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Trade-offs in utilizing of zero-valent iron for synergistic biotic and abiotic reduction of trichloroethene and perchlorate in soil and groundwater

Description

The advantages and challenges of combining zero-valent iron (ZVI) and microbial reduction of trichloroethene (TCE) and perchlorate (ClO4-) in contaminated soil and groundwater are not well understood. The objective of

The advantages and challenges of combining zero-valent iron (ZVI) and microbial reduction of trichloroethene (TCE) and perchlorate (ClO4-) in contaminated soil and groundwater are not well understood. The objective of this work was to identify the benefits and limitations of simultaneous application of ZVI and bioaugmentation for detoxification of TCE and ClO4- using conditions relevant to a specific contaminated site. We studied conditions representing a ZVI-injection zone and a downstream zone influenced Fe (II) produced, for simultaneous ZVI and microbial reductive dechlorination applications using bench scale semi-batch microcosm experiments. 16.5 g L-1 ZVI effectively reduced TCE to ethene and ethane but ClO4- was barely reduced. Microbial reductive dechlorination was limited by both ZVI as well as Fe (II) derived from oxidation of ZVI. In the case of TCE, rapid abiotic TCE reduction made the TCE unavailable for the dechlorinating bacteria. In the case of perchlorate, ZVI inhibited the indigenous perchlorate-reducing bacteria present in the soil and groundwater. Further, H2 generated by ZVI reactions stimulated competing microbial processes like sulfate reduction and methanogenesis. In the microcosms representing the ZVI downstream zone (Fe (II) only), we detected accumulation of cis-dichloroethene (cis-DCE) and vinyl chloride (VC) after 56 days. Some ethene also formed under these conditions. In the absence of ZVI or Fe (II), we detected complete TCE dechlorination to ethene and faster rates of ClO4- reduction. The results illustrate potential limitations of combining ZVI with microbial reduction of chlorinated compounds and show the potential that each technology has when applied separately.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Water efficiency in agriculture: a study of the adoption of water conserving and profitable irrigation technology in Arizona

Description

With the projected population growth, the need to produce higher agricultural yield to meet projected demand is hindered by water scarcity. Out of many the approaches that could be implemented

With the projected population growth, the need to produce higher agricultural yield to meet projected demand is hindered by water scarcity. Out of many the approaches that could be implemented to meet the water gap, intensification of agriculture through adoption of advanced agricultural irrigation techniques is the focus for this research. Current high water consumption by agricultural sector in Arizona is due to historical dominance in the state economy and established water rights. Efficiency gained in agricultural water use in Arizona has the most potential to reduce the overall water consumption. This research studies the agricultural sector and water management of several counties in Arizona (Maricopa, Pinal, and Yuma). Several research approaches are employed: modeling of agricultural technology adoption using replicator dynamics, interview with water managers and farmers, and Arizona water management law and history review. Using systems thinking, the components of the local farming environment are documented through socio-ecological system/robustness lenses. The replicator dynamics model is employed to evaluate possible conditions in which water efficient agricultural irrigation systems proliferate. The evaluation of conditions that promote the shift towards advanced irrigation technology is conducted through a combination of literature review, interview data, and model analysis. Systematic shift from the currently dominant flood irrigation toward a more water efficient irrigation technologies could be attributed to the followings: the increase in advanced irrigation technology yield efficiency; the reduction of advanced irrigation technology implementation and maintenance cost; the change in growing higher value crop; and the change in growing/harvesting time where there is less competition from other states. Insights learned will further the knowledge useful for this arid state's agricultural policy decision making that will both adhere to the water management goals and meet the projected food production and demand gap.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Analytical procedure for flexible airfield pavement rutting incorporating environmental location and groundwater table effects

Description

The structural design of pavements in both highways and airfields becomes complex when one considers environmental effects and ground water table variation. Environmental effects have been incorporated on the new

The structural design of pavements in both highways and airfields becomes complex when one considers environmental effects and ground water table variation. Environmental effects have been incorporated on the new Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide (MEPDG) but little has been done to incorporate environmental effects on airfield design. This work presents a developed code produced from this research study called ZAPRAM, which is a mechanistically based pavement model based upon Limiting Strain Criteria in airfield HMA pavement design procedures. ZAPRAM is capable of pavement and airfield design analyses considering environmental effects. The program has been coded in Visual Basic and implemented in an event-driven, user-friendly educational computer program, which runs in Excel environment. Several studies were conducted in order to insure the validity of the analysis as well as the efficiency of the software. The first study yielded the minimum threshold number of computational points the user should use at a specific depth within the pavement system. The second study was completed to verify the correction factor for the Odemark's transformed thickness equation. Default correction factors were included in the code base on a large comparative study between Odemark's and MLET. A third study was conducted to provide a comparison of flexible airfield pavement design thicknesses derived from three widely accepted design procedures used in practice today: the Asphalt Institute, Shell Oil, and the revised Corps of Engineering rutting failure criteria to calculate the thickness requirements necessary for a range of design input variables. The results of the comparative study showed that there is a significant difference between the pavement thicknesses obtained from the three design procedures, with the greatest deviation found between the Shell Oil approach and the other two criteria. Finally, a comprehensive sensitivity study of environmental site factors and the groundwater table depth upon flexible airfield pavement design and performance was completed. The study used the newly revised USACE failure criteria for subgrade shear deformation. The methodology utilized the same analytical methodology to achieve real time environmental effects upon unbound layer modulus, as that used in the new AASHTO MEPDG. The results of this effort showed, for the first time, the quantitative impact of the significant effects of the climatic conditions at the design site, coupled with the importance of the depth of the groundwater table, on the predicted design thicknesses. Significant cost savings appear to be quite reasonable by utilizing principles of unsaturated soil mechanics into the new airfield pavement design procedure found in program ZAPRAM.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Methods and devices for evaluating environmental remediation progress and population health

Description

This dissertation critically evaluated methodologies and devices for assessing and protecting the health of human populations, with particular emphasis on groundwater remediation and the use of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) to

This dissertation critically evaluated methodologies and devices for assessing and protecting the health of human populations, with particular emphasis on groundwater remediation and the use of wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) to inform population health. A meta-analysis and assessment of laboratory-scale treatability studies for removing chlorinated solvents from groundwater found that sediment microcosms operated as continuous-flow columns are preferable to batch bottles when seeking to emulate with high fidelity the complex conditions prevailing in the subsurface in contaminated aquifers (Chapter 2). Compared to monitoring at the field-scale, use of column microcosms also showed (i) improved chemical speciation, and (ii) qualitative predictability of field parameters (Chapter 3). Monitoring of glucocorticoid hormones in wastewater of a university campus showed (i) elevated stress levels particularly at the start of the semester, (ii) on weekdays relative to weekend days (p = 0.05) (161 ± 42 μg d-1 per person, 122 ± 54 μg d-1 per person; p ≤ 0.05), and (iii) a positive association between levels of stress hormones and nicotine (rs: 0.49) and caffeine (0.63) consumption in this student population (Chapter 4). Also, (i) alcohol consumption determined by WBE was in line with literature estimates for this young sub-population (11.3 ± 7.5 g d-1 per person vs. 10.1 ± 0.8 g d-1 per person), whereas caffeine and nicotine uses were below (114 ± 49 g d-1 per person, 178 ± 19 g d-1 per person; 627 ± 219 g d-1 per person, 927 ± 243 g d-1 per person). The introduction of a novel continuous in situ sampler to WBE brought noted benefits relative to traditional time-integrated sampling, including (i) a higher sample coverage (93% vs. 3%), (ii) an ability to captured short-term analyte pulses (e.g., heroin, fentanyl, norbuprenorphine, and methadone), and (iii) an overall higher mass capture for drugs of abuse like morphine, fentanyl, methamphetamine, amphetamine, and the opioid antagonist metabolite norbuprenorphine (p ≤ 0.01). Methods and devices developed in this work are poised to find applications in the remediation sector and in human health assessments.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018