Matching Items (10)

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

Arizona Extreme Weather, Climate and Health Profile Report - March 2015

Description

Observed and projected changes to the climate (e.g. more/less precipitation and higher temperatures) can pose significant health risks to the residents of Arizona. As in other locations in the Southwest,

Observed and projected changes to the climate (e.g. more/less precipitation and higher temperatures) can pose significant health risks to the residents of Arizona. As in other locations in the Southwest, across the United States, and around the world, these changes are likely to coincide with an increased frequency of drought, flooding, severe heat events, and wildfires; and disruption of civil infrastructure, including transportation, energy, and water systems. These impacts can lead directly to illness and death and are likely to worsen existing health conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses. A number of other factors are expected to compound these health issues.

Achieving air quality goals may be more difficult because of changes in the emission rates of ozone precursors including nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), along with changes in meteorological conditions that facilitate high pollutant concentrations. Additionally, the timing and potency of aeroallergens may be hastened and increased. Finally, vector-borne illnesses carried by insects (i.e., mosquitos, mites, and ticks) are likely to become increasingly widespread. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) framework (Figure A) to provide local health officials with a mechanism for addressing climate-related public health effects and to support the creation of regional public health adaptation and mitigation efforts. The framework uses the principles of adaptive management to achieve these goals.

This report addresses Step 1 of the framework, focusing on two climate-related hazards and associated health impacts of major importance to Arizona—extreme heat events and air pollution. The frequency and intensity of extreme heat events already are increasing in the state and this trend is expected to continue. Likewise, under some future climate scenarios, ozone formation and accumulation are expected to increase (Weaver et al. 2009; Kim et al. 2015). Furthermore, historical monitoring of air pollution, especially ozone and coarse particulate matter (PM10), has identified these pollutants as a problem in the state. This report describes the link between these hazards and human health outcomes, and identifies the segments of the population that would be at-risk or vulnerable to their effects. The work involved extracting downscaled climate projections for Arizona and identifying populations vulnerable to extreme heat and poor air quality. Further work will include projecting future public health burdens, identifying mitigating measures, evaluating their cost-effectiveness, and developing an adaptation plan. Flood- and drought-related hazards will also be analyzed. Throughout these activities, Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and the project team will evaluate the framework’s effectiveness and revise their efforts, as needed.

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Date Created
  • 2015-03

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An IoT Solution to Air Quality Monitoring

Description

Pollution is an increasing problem around the world, and one of the main forms it takes is air pollution. Air pollution, from oxides and dioxides to particulate matter, continues to

Pollution is an increasing problem around the world, and one of the main forms it takes is air pollution. Air pollution, from oxides and dioxides to particulate matter, continues to contribute to millions of deaths each year, which is more than the next three leading causes of environment-related death combined. Plus, the problem is only growing as industrial plants, factories, and transportation continues to rapidly increase across the globe. Those most affected include less developed countries and individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions. Although many citizens know about this issue, it is often unclear what times and locations are worst in terms of pollutant concentration as it can vary on the time of day, local activity, and other variable factors. As a result, citizens lack the knowledge and resources to properly combat or avoid air pollution, as well as the data and evidence to support any sort of regulatory change. Many companies and organizations have tried to address this through Air Quality Indexes (AQIs) but are not focused enough to help the everyday citizen, and often fail to include many significant pollutants. Thus, we sought to address this issue in a cost-effective way through creating a network of IoT (Internet of Things) devices and deploying them in a select area of Tempe, Arizona. We utilized Arduino Microprocessors and Wireless Radio Frequency Transceivers to send and receive air pollution data in real time. Then, displayed this data in such a way that it could be released to the public via web or mobile app. Furthermore, the product is cheap enough to be reproduced and sold in bulk as well as scaled and customized to be compatible with dozens of different air quality sensors.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Contaminants in Philippine Fish (Siganus fuscescens) and Potential Effects on Public Health

Description

The Philippines relies on a vast biodiversity of fishes as a staple food, but like many countries around the globe, experiences severe “leakages” of contaminants and pollutants in the environment.

The Philippines relies on a vast biodiversity of fishes as a staple food, but like many countries around the globe, experiences severe “leakages” of contaminants and pollutants in the environment. In order to better understand the relationship between environmental pollutants and public health, this research project measured the concentration of pollutants in a commonly consumed local fish (Siganus fuscescens), and then evaluated the potential health risks of eating this fish based on estimated average consumer weight and consumption levels. Fish sampled from four different sites located in Negros Oriental, Philippines were analyzed for organic contaminants using gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy. Pollutants quantified included polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides, phthalates, and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs). Across the four study sites, fishes from Manjuyod showed the highest frequency of detection of different pollutants. However, phthalates and PAHs were found in similar concentrations in all four sites, with fishes from Dumaguete showing the highest level of PCBs compared to the other sampled sites. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s guide for fish contaminants pinpoints several health risks associated with the chronic ingestion of these contaminants. Based on estimated average body weights of Filipino adult men, adult women, and children, and various consumption levels, people who eat the fish at or above the national average consumption level may be at increased risk for chronic health outcomes, such as cancer and/or other adverse effects. Specifically, due to the high concentration of PCBs in Dumaguete, selected populations who eat local fish from this site may be at higher risk than the citizens who eat the fish from other sites at similar consumption rates. These results can help to inform local and national policies on water quality, waste disposal, and fish consumption advisory programs.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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The Use of Air Pollution to Explain Cross-Country Income Differences

Description

One of the most pressing questions in economics is “why are some countries richer than others?” One methodology designed to help answer the question is known as “Development Accounting,” a

One of the most pressing questions in economics is “why are some countries richer than others?” One methodology designed to help answer the question is known as “Development Accounting,” a framework that organizes the determinants of income into two categories: differences in inputs and differences in efficiency. The objective of our work is to study to what extent differences in the levels of pollution can help explain income differences across countries. To do this, we adjusted a factor-only model to allow us to enter PM2.5, a measure of pollution that tracks the concentration of fine particulate matter in the air and looked to see if the model’s predictive power improved. We ultimately find that we can improve the model’s success in predicting GDP by .5 - 6%. Thus, pollution is unlikely to be a major force in understanding cross-country income differences, but it can be used with other economic factors to potentially magnify its impact with other additions in the future.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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The Use of Air Pollution to Explain Cross-Country Income Differences

Description

Using the Development Accounting methodology specified in Caselli (2004), we investigate the potential of PM2.5, a measure of pollution, as an explanation of cross-country differences in GDP using available Macroeconomic

Using the Development Accounting methodology specified in Caselli (2004), we investigate the potential of PM2.5, a measure of pollution, as an explanation of cross-country differences in GDP using available Macroeconomic data from the Penn World Table and the WHO. We find that the addition of PM2.5 makes improvements to the model within the expectations of the literature. This adjustment shows promise for use in cooperation with other, more potent economic factors.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Movement of Marine-Based Microplastics from Seabird Guano to Terrestrial Ecosystems

Description

Microplastics are defined as small pieces of plastics that are less than five millimeters in size. These microplastics can vary in their appearance, are known to be harmful to aquatic

Microplastics are defined as small pieces of plastics that are less than five millimeters in size. These microplastics can vary in their appearance, are known to be harmful to aquatic life and can threaten life cycles of marine organisms because of their chemical make-up and the toxic additives used in their manufacture. Although small in size, it is hypothesized that microplastics can serve as an example of how human activities can alter ecosystems near and far. To investigate the implications and determine the potential impact of microplastics on a protected atoll’s ecosystems, red-footed booby (Sula sula) guano samples from six locations on Palmyra Atoll were acquired from North Carolina State University via The Nature Conservancy and were inspected for the presence of microplastics. Each of the guano samples were weighed and prepared via wet oxidation. Microplastic fibers were detected via stereoscope microscopy and analyzed for chemical composition via Raman spectroscopy. All six sampling locations within Palmyra Atoll contained microplastic fibers identified as polyethylene terephthalate, with North-South Causeway and Eastern Island having the highest average number of microplastic fibers found per gram of guano sample (n = 0.611). These data provide evidence that seabirds can serve as vectors for the spread of microplastic pollution. This research lends context to the widespread impact of plastic pollution and states possible implications of its presence in delicate ecosystems.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Essays in misallocation and economic development

Description

The dissertation consists of two essays in misallocation and development. In particular, the essays explore how government policies distort resource allocation across production units, and therefore affect aggregate economic

The dissertation consists of two essays in misallocation and development. In particular, the essays explore how government policies distort resource allocation across production units, and therefore affect aggregate economic and environmental outcomes.

The first chapter studies the aggregate consequences of misallocation in a firm dynamics model with multi-establishment firms. I calibrate my model to the US firm size distribution with respect to both the number of employees and the number of establishments, and use it to study distortions that are correlated with establishment size, or so-called size-dependent distortions to establishments, which are modeled as implicit output taxes. In contrast to previous studies, I find that size-dependent distortions are not more damaging to aggregate productivity and output than size-independent distortions, while the implicit tax revenue approximately summarizes the effects on aggregate output. I also use the model to compare the effects of size-dependent distortions to establishments and to firms, and find that they have different effects on firm size distribution, but have similar effects on aggregate output.

The second chapter studies the effects of product market frictions on firm size distribution and their implications for industrial pollution in China. Using a unique micro-level manufacturing census, I find that larger firms generate and emit less pollutants per unit of production. I also provide evidence suggesting the existence of size-dependent product market frictions that disproportionately affect larger firms. Using a model with firms heterogeneous in productivity and an endogenous choice of pollution treatment technology, I show that these frictions result in lower adoption rate of clean technology, higher pollution and lower aggregate output. I use the model to evaluate policies that eliminate size-dependent frictions, and those that increase environmental regulation. Quantitative results show that eliminating size-dependent frictions increases output by 30%. Meanwhile, the fraction of firms using clean technology increases by 27% and aggregate pollution decreases by 20%. In contrast, a regulatory policy which increases the clean technology adoption rate by the same 27%, has no effect on aggregate output and leads to only 10% reduction in aggregate pollution.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Photocatalysis for reductive transformation of nitrate and chromate in drinking water

Description

Contamination of drinking water supplies from oxo-anion pollutants necessitates treatment prior to potable use. This dissertation aims to inform and improve light delivery (emission spectra, radiant intensity, reactor configuration) in

Contamination of drinking water supplies from oxo-anion pollutants necessitates treatment prior to potable use. This dissertation aims to inform and improve light delivery (emission spectra, radiant intensity, reactor configuration) in order to enhance the photocatalytic reduction of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) and nitrate, two common oxo-anions in drinking water, and photocatalytic oxidation of two model organic pollutants (methylene blue, (MB) and para-chlorobenzoic acid (pCBA)). By varying the photon fluence dose, two metrics (contaminant quantum yield (Φ), and electrical energy per order (EEO)) were used to assess photocatalytic reactor performance. A detailed literature review and experimental results demonstrated how different irradiance sources with variable intensity and emission spectra synergistically enhanced contaminant removal by a coupled photolytic/photocatalytic reaction mechanism. Cr(VI) was photocatalytically reduced on TiO2 and formed Cr(OH)3(s) in a large-scale slurry reactor, but Cr(III) was then photolyzed and reformed Cr(VI). UV light also led to photo-aggregation of TiO2 which improved its recovery by the ceramic membrane within the reactor. For nitrate reduction, light source emission spectra and fluence dose delineate the preferred pathways as intermediates were reduced via wavelength-dependent mechanisms. HONO was identified as a key nitrate reduction intermediate, which was reduced photocatalytically (UV wavelengths) and/or readily photolyzed at 365nm, to yield nitrogen gases. Photocatalytic nitrate reduction efficiency was higher for discrete wavelength irradiation than polychromatic irradiation. Light delivery through aqueous media to the catalyst surface limits efficiency of slurry-based photocatalysts because absorption and scattering of light in nanomaterial slurries decreases effective photon transmittance and minimizes photolytic reactions. The use of optical fibers coupled to light emitting diodes (OF-LED) with immobilized catalyst demonstrated higher performance compared to slurry systems. OF-LED increased Φ for MB degradation by increasing direct photon delivery to the photocatalyst. Design of OF-LED reactors using bundled optical fibers demonstrated photocatalytic pCBA removal with high Φ and reduced EEO due to increased surface area and catalytic sites compared to single OF/LED couples. This work advances light delivery as well as the suspension and attachment of nanoparticles in photocatalytic water treatment for selective transformation of oxo-anions and organic compounds to innocuous species.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Pro-environmental motivation: an evolutionarily informed approach

Description

Pro-environmental goals often pit immediate self-interest against future communal interest. Consequently, the motivation to behave in pro-environmental ways can be particularly difficult to maintain over time. By framing environmental ills

Pro-environmental goals often pit immediate self-interest against future communal interest. Consequently, the motivation to behave in pro-environmental ways can be particularly difficult to maintain over time. By framing environmental ills as threats to one's chronic concerns, I suggest that chronic motivations, such as disease avoidance, can be leveraged to engender longer-lasting pro-environmental motivation. Specifically, I suggest that three distinct categories of environmental ills should be associated with distinct chronic concerns, and that the mechanisms that regulate these concerns should also regulate reactions to related environmental ills: pollution should engage a pathogenic disgust mechanism, wastefulness a moral disgust mechanism, and framing environmental outcomes as posing safety concerns should be linked to fear and anger mechanisms. Results of four experiments did not lend consistent support to the hypotheses. Neither situationally primed concerns nor motivation-relevant individual differences produced consistent results suggesting an association between the proposed motivations and the relevant environmental outcomes.

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Date Created
  • 2012