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Impacts of Carbon Nanoparticles on Nutrient Uptake, Leaching, and Yield of Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)

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Nitrate contamination to groundwater and surface water is a serious problem in areas with high agricultural production due to over application of fertilizers. There is a need for alternative technologies to reduce nutrient runoff without compromising yield. Carbon nanoparticles have

Nitrate contamination to groundwater and surface water is a serious problem in areas with high agricultural production due to over application of fertilizers. There is a need for alternative technologies to reduce nutrient runoff without compromising yield. Carbon nanoparticles have adsorptive properties and have shown to improve germination and yield of a variety of crops. Graphite nanoparticles (CNP) were studied under a variety of different fertilizer conditions to grow lettuce for the three seasons of summer, fall, and winter. The aim of this thesis was to quantify the effect of CNPs on nitrate leaching and lettuce growth. This was accomplished by measuring the lettuce leaf yield, formulating a nutrient balance using the leachate, plant tissue, and soil data, and changing the hydraulic conductivity of the soil to assess the effect on nutrient mobility. summer and fall experiments used Arizona soil with different amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) fertilizer being applied to the soil with and without CNPs. The winter experiments used three different soil blends of Arizona soil, Arizona soil blended with 30% sand, and Arizona soil blended with 70% sand with a constant fertilizer treatment of 30% NPK with and without CNPs. The results showed that the 70% NPK with CNP treatment was best at reducing the amount of nitrate leached while having little to no compromise in yield. The winter experiments showed that the effectiveness of CNPs in reducing nitrate leaching and enhancing yield, improved with the higher the hydraulic conductivity of the soil.

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Date Created
2018

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Geochemical analysis of the leachate generated after zero valent metals addition to municipal solid waste

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Zero-Valent Metals (ZVM) are highly reactive materials and have been proved to be effective in contaminant reduction in soils and groundwater remediation. In fact, zero-Valent Iron (ZVI) has proven to be very effective in removing, particularly chlorinated organics, heavy metals,

Zero-Valent Metals (ZVM) are highly reactive materials and have been proved to be effective in contaminant reduction in soils and groundwater remediation. In fact, zero-Valent Iron (ZVI) has proven to be very effective in removing, particularly chlorinated organics, heavy metals, and odorous sulfides. Addition of ZVI has also been proved in enhancing the methane gas generation in anaerobic digestion of activated sludge. However, no studies have been conducted regarding the effect of ZVM stimulation to Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) degradation. Therefore, a collaborative study was developed to manipulate microbial activity in the landfill bioreactors to favor methane production by adding ZVMs. This study focuses on evaluating the effects of added ZVM on the leachate generated from replicated lab scale landfill bioreactors. The specific objective was to investigate the effects of ZVMs addition on the organic and inorganic pollutants in leachate. The hypothesis here evaluated was that adding ZVM including ZVI and Zero Valent Manganese (ZVMn) will enhance the removal rates of the organic pollutants present in the leachate, likely by a putative higher rate of microbial metabolism. Test with six (4.23 gallons) bioreactors assembled with MSW collected from the Salt River Landfill and Southwest Regional Landfill showed that under 5 grams /liter of ZVI and 0.625 grams/liter of ZVMn additions, no significant difference was observed in the pH and temperature data of the leachate generated from these reactors. The conductivity data suggested the steady rise across all reactors over the period of time. The removal efficiency of sCOD was highest (27.112 mg/lit/day) for the reactors added with ZVMn at the end of 150 days for bottom layer, however the removal rate was highest (16.955 mg/lit/day) for ZVI after the end of 150 days of the middle layer. Similar trends in the results was observed in TC analysis. HPLC study indicated the dominance of the concentration of heptanoate and isovalerate were leachate generated from the bottom layer across all reactors. Heptanoate continued to dominate in the ZVMn added leachate even after middle layer injection. IC analysis concluded the chloride was dominant in the leachate generated from all the reactors and there was a steady increase in the chloride content over the period of time. Along with chloride, fluoride, bromide, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate and sulfate were also detected in considerable concentrations. In the summary, the addition of the zero valent metals has proved to be efficient in removal of the organics present in the leachate.

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2019