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Future of Wastewater Sensing Workshop Guide

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The Future of Wastewater Sensing workshop is part of a collaboration between Arizona State University Center for Nanotechnology in Society in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Environmental Security, LC Nano, and

The Future of Wastewater Sensing workshop is part of a collaboration between Arizona State University Center for Nanotechnology in Society in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Environmental Security, LC Nano, and the Nano-enabled Water Treatment (NEWT) Systems NSF Engineering Research Center. The Future of Wastewater Sensing workshop explores how technologies for studying, monitoring, and mining wastewater and sewage sludge might develop in the future, and what consequences may ensue for public health, law enforcement, private industry, regulations and society at large. The workshop pays particular attention to how wastewater sensing (and accompanying research, technologies, and applications) can be innovated, regulated, and used to maximize societal benefit and minimize the risk of adverse outcomes, when addressing critical social and environmental challenges.

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2015-11-01

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

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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

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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2019-05

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Plastics and Environmental Health: The Road Ahead

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Plastics continue to benefit society in innumerable ways, even though recent public focus on plastics has centered mostly on human health and environmental concerns, including their endocrine-disrupting properties and the long-term pollution they represent. The benefits of plastics are particularly

Plastics continue to benefit society in innumerable ways, even though recent public focus on plastics has centered mostly on human health and environmental concerns, including their endocrine-disrupting properties and the long-term pollution they represent. The benefits of plastics are particularly apparent in medicine and public health. Plastics are versatile, cost-effective, require less energy to produce than alternative materials like metal or glass, and can be manufactured to have many different properties. Due to these characteristics, polymers are used in diverse health applications like disposable syringes and intravenous bags, sterile packaging for medical instruments as well as in joint replacements, tissue engineering, etc. However, not all current uses of plastics are prudent and sustainable, as illustrated by the widespread, unwanted human exposure to endocrine-disrupting bisphenol A (BPA) and di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), problems arising from the large quantities of plastic being disposed of, and depletion of non-renewable petroleum resources as a result of the ever-increasing mass production of plastic consumer articles. Using the health-care sector as example, this review concentrates on the benefits and downsides of plastics and identifies opportunities to change the composition and disposal practices of these invaluable polymers for a more sustainable future consumption. It highlights ongoing efforts to phase out DEHP and BPA in the health-care and food industry and discusses biodegradable options for plastic packaging, opportunities for reducing plastic medical waste, and recycling in medical facilities in the quest to reap a maximum of benefits from polymers without compromising human health or the environment in the process.

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Date Created
2013-05

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An Environmental and Economic Analysis of The Near Future of Lithium Ion Batteries

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Lithium ion batteries are quintessential components of modern life. They are used to power smart devices — phones, tablets, laptops, and are rapidly becoming major elements in the automotive industry. Demand projections for lithium are skyrocketing with production struggling to

Lithium ion batteries are quintessential components of modern life. They are used to power smart devices — phones, tablets, laptops, and are rapidly becoming major elements in the automotive industry. Demand projections for lithium are skyrocketing with production struggling to keep up pace. This drive is due mostly to the rapid adoption of electric vehicles; sales of electric vehicles in 2020 are more than double what they were only a year prior. With such staggering growth it is important to understand how lithium is sourced and what that means for the environment. Will production even be capable of meeting the demand as more industries make use of this valuable element? How will the environmental impact of lithium affect growth? This thesis attempts to answer these questions as the world looks to a decade of rapid growth for lithium ion batteries.

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Date Created
2021-05

Reducing Single-Use Plastic & Nitrile Waste in U.S. Research Institutions

Description

The production and incineration of single-use micropipette tips and disposable gloves, which are heavily used within laboratory facilities, generate large amounts of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) and accelerate climate change. Plastic waste that is not incinerated often is lost in the

The production and incineration of single-use micropipette tips and disposable gloves, which are heavily used within laboratory facilities, generate large amounts of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) and accelerate climate change. Plastic waste that is not incinerated often is lost in the environment. The long degradation times associated with this waste exacerbates a variety of environmental problems such as substance runoff and ocean pollution. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of possible solutions for minimizing micropipette tip and disposable glove waste within laboratory spaces. It was hypothesized that simultaneously implementing the use of micropipette tip washers (MTWs) and energy-from-glove-waste programs (EGWs) would significantly reduce (p < 0.05) the average combined annual single-use plastic micropipette tip and nitrile glove waste (in kg) per square meter of laboratory space in the United States. ASU’s Biodesign Institute (BDI) was used as a case study to inform on the thousands of different laboratory facilities that exist all across the United States. Four separate research laboratories within the largest public university of the U.S. were sampled to assess the volume of plastic waste from single-use micropipette tips and gloves. Resultant data were used to represent the totality of single-use waste from the case study location and then extrapolated to all laboratory space in the United States. With the implementation of EGWs, annual BDI glove waste is reduced by 100% (0.47 ± 0.26 kg/m2; 35.5 ± 19.3 metric tons total) and annual BDI glove-related carbon emissions are reduced by ~5.01% (0.165 ± 0.09 kg/m2; 1.24 ± 0.68 metric tons total). With the implementation of MTWs, annual BDI micropipette tip waste is reduced by 92% (0.117 ± 0.03 kg/m2; 0.88 ± 0.25 metric tons total) and annual BDI tip-related carbon emissions are reduced by ~83.6% (4.04 ± 1.25 kg/m2; 30.5 ± 9.43 metric tons total). There was no significant difference (p = 0.06) observed between the mass of single-use waste (kg) in the sampled laboratory spaces before (x̄ = 47.1; σ = 43.3) and after (x̄ =0.070; σ = 0.033) the implementation of the solutions. When examining both solutions (MTWs & EGWs) implemented in conjunction with one another, the annual BDI financial savings (in regard to both purchasing and disposal costs) after the first year were determined to be ~$7.92 ± $9.31/m2 (7,500 m2 of total wet laboratory space) or ~$60,000 ± $70,000 total. These savings represent ~15.77% of annual BDI spending on micropipette tips and nitrile gloves. The large error margins in these financial estimates create high uncertainty for whether or not BDI would see net savings from implementing both solutions simultaneously. However, when examining the implementation of only MTWs, the annual BDI financial savings (in regard to both purchasing and disposal costs) after the first year were determined to be ~$12.01 ± $6.79 kg/m2 or ~$91,000 ± $51,200 total. These savings represent ~23.92% of annual BDI spending on micropipette tips and nitrile gloves. The lower error margins for this estimate create a much higher likelihood of net savings for BDI. Extrapolating to all laboratory space in the United States, the total annual amount of plastic waste avoided with the implementation of the MTWs was identified as 8,130 ± 2,290 tons or 0.023% of all solid plastic waste produced in the United States in 2018. The total amount of nitrile waste avoided with the implementation of the EGWs was identified as 32,800 ± 17,900 tons or 0.36% of all rubber solid waste produced in the United States in 2018. The total amount of carbon emissions avoided with the implementation of the MTWs was identified as 281,000 ± 87,000 tons CO2eq or 5.4*10-4 % of all CO2eq GHG emissions produced in the United States in 2020. Both the micropipette tip washer and the glove waste avoidance program solutions can be easily integrated into existing laboratories without compromising the integrity of the activities taking place. Implemented on larger scales, these solutions hold the potential for significant single-use waste reduction.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2022-05

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Zdrale Final Project (Spring 2022)

Description

The production and incineration of single-use micropipette tips and disposable gloves, which are heavily used within laboratory facilities, generate large amounts of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) and accelerate climate change. Plastic waste that is not incinerated often is lost in the

The production and incineration of single-use micropipette tips and disposable gloves, which are heavily used within laboratory facilities, generate large amounts of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) and accelerate climate change. Plastic waste that is not incinerated often is lost in the environment. The long degradation times associated with this waste exacerbates a variety of environmental problems such as substance runoff and ocean pollution. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of possible solutions for minimizing micropipette tip and disposable glove waste within laboratory spaces. It was hypothesized that simultaneously implementing the use of micropipette tip washers (MTWs) and energy-from-glove-waste programs (EGWs) would significantly reduce (p < 0.05) the average combined annual single-use plastic micropipette tip and nitrile glove waste (in kg) per square meter of laboratory space in the United States. ASU’s Biodesign Institute (BDI) was used as a case study to inform on the thousands of different laboratory facilities that exist all across the United States. Four separate research laboratories within the largest public university of the U.S. were sampled to assess the volume of plastic waste from single-use micropipette tips and gloves. Resultant data were used to represent the totality of single-use waste from the case study location and then extrapolated to all laboratory space in the United States. With the implementation of EGWs, annual BDI glove waste is reduced by 100% (0.47 ± 0.26 kg/m2; 35.5 ± 19.3 metric tons total) and annual BDI glove-related carbon emissions are reduced by ~5.01% (0.165 ± 0.09 kg/m2; 1.24 ± 0.68 metric tons total). With the implementation of MTWs, annual BDI micropipette tip waste is reduced by 92% (0.117 ± 0.03 kg/m2; 0.88 ± 0.25 metric tons total) and annual BDI tip-related carbon emissions are reduced by ~83.6% (4.04 ± 1.25 kg/m2; 30.5 ± 9.43 metric tons total). There was no significant difference (p = 0.06) observed between the mass of single-use waste (kg) in the sampled laboratory spaces before (x̄ = 47.1; σ = 43.3) and after (x̄ =0.070; σ = 0.033) the implementation of the solutions. When examining both solutions (MTWs & EGWs) implemented in conjunction with one another, the annual BDI financial savings (in regard to both purchasing and disposal costs) after the first year were determined to be ~$7.92 ± $9.31/m2 (7,500 m2 of total wet laboratory space) or ~$60,000 ± $70,000 total. These savings represent ~15.77% of annual BDI spending on micropipette tips and nitrile gloves. The large error margins in these financial estimates create high uncertainty for whether or not BDI would see net savings from implementing both solutions simultaneously. However, when examining the implementation of only MTWs, the annual BDI financial savings (in regard to both purchasing and disposal costs) after the first year were determined to be ~$12.01 ± $6.79 kg/m2 or ~$91,000 ± $51,200 total. These savings represent ~23.92% of annual BDI spending on micropipette tips and nitrile gloves. The lower error margins for this estimate create a much higher likelihood of net savings for BDI. Extrapolating to all laboratory space in the United States, the total annual amount of plastic waste avoided with the implementation of the MTWs was identified as 8,130 ± 2,290 tons or 0.023% of all solid plastic waste produced in the United States in 2018. The total amount of nitrile waste avoided with the implementation of the EGWs was identified as 32,800 ± 17,900 tons or 0.36% of all rubber solid waste produced in the United States in 2018. The total amount of carbon emissions avoided with the implementation of the MTWs was identified as 281,000 ± 87,000 tons CO2eq or 5.4*10-4 % of all CO2eq GHG emissions produced in the United States in 2020. Both the micropipette tip washer and the glove waste avoidance program solutions can be easily integrated into existing laboratories without compromising the integrity of the activities taking place. Implemented on larger scales, these solutions hold the potential for significant single-use waste reduction.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2022-05

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Mahant-Zdrale Honors Thesis Defense (Spring 2022)

Description

The production and incineration of single-use micropipette tips and disposable gloves, which are heavily used within laboratory facilities, generate large amounts of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) and accelerate climate change. Plastic waste that is not incinerated often is lost in the

The production and incineration of single-use micropipette tips and disposable gloves, which are heavily used within laboratory facilities, generate large amounts of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) and accelerate climate change. Plastic waste that is not incinerated often is lost in the environment. The long degradation times associated with this waste exacerbates a variety of environmental problems such as substance runoff and ocean pollution. The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of possible solutions for minimizing micropipette tip and disposable glove waste within laboratory spaces. It was hypothesized that simultaneously implementing the use of micropipette tip washers (MTWs) and energy-from-glove-waste programs (EGWs) would significantly reduce (p < 0.05) the average combined annual single-use plastic micropipette tip and nitrile glove waste (in kg) per square meter of laboratory space in the United States. ASU’s Biodesign Institute (BDI) was used as a case study to inform on the thousands of different laboratory facilities that exist all across the United States. Four separate research laboratories within the largest public university of the U.S. were sampled to assess the volume of plastic waste from single-use micropipette tips and gloves. Resultant data were used to represent the totality of single-use waste from the case study location and then extrapolated to all laboratory space in the United States. With the implementation of EGWs, annual BDI glove waste is reduced by 100% (0.47 ± 0.26 kg/m2; 35.5 ± 19.3 metric tons total) and annual BDI glove-related carbon emissions are reduced by ~5.01% (0.165 ± 0.09 kg/m2; 1.24 ± 0.68 metric tons total). With the implementation of MTWs, annual BDI micropipette tip waste is reduced by 92% (0.117 ± 0.03 kg/m2; 0.88 ± 0.25 metric tons total) and annual BDI tip-related carbon emissions are reduced by ~83.6% (4.04 ± 1.25 kg/m2; 30.5 ± 9.43 metric tons total). There was no significant difference (p = 0.06) observed between the mass of single-use waste (kg) in the sampled laboratory spaces before (x̄ = 47.1; σ = 43.3) and after (x̄ =0.070; σ = 0.033) the implementation of the solutions. When examining both solutions (MTWs & EGWs) implemented in conjunction with one another, the annual BDI financial savings (in regard to both purchasing and disposal costs) after the first year were determined to be ~$7.92 ± $9.31/m2 (7,500 m2 of total wet laboratory space) or ~$60,000 ± $70,000 total. These savings represent ~15.77% of annual BDI spending on micropipette tips and nitrile gloves. The large error margins in these financial estimates create high uncertainty for whether or not BDI would see net savings from implementing both solutions simultaneously. However, when examining the implementation of only MTWs, the annual BDI financial savings (in regard to both purchasing and disposal costs) after the first year were determined to be ~$12.01 ± $6.79 kg/m2 or ~$91,000 ± $51,200 total. These savings represent ~23.92% of annual BDI spending on micropipette tips and nitrile gloves. The lower error margins for this estimate create a much higher likelihood of net savings for BDI. Extrapolating to all laboratory space in the United States, the total annual amount of plastic waste avoided with the implementation of the MTWs was identified as 8,130 ± 2,290 tons or 0.023% of all solid plastic waste produced in the United States in 2018. The total amount of nitrile waste avoided with the implementation of the EGWs was identified as 32,800 ± 17,900 tons or 0.36% of all rubber solid waste produced in the United States in 2018. The total amount of carbon emissions avoided with the implementation of the MTWs was identified as 281,000 ± 87,000 tons CO2eq or 5.4*10-4 % of all CO2eq GHG emissions produced in the United States in 2020. Both the micropipette tip washer and the glove waste avoidance program solutions can be easily integrated into existing laboratories without compromising the integrity of the activities taking place. Implemented on larger scales, these solutions hold the potential for significant single-use waste reduction.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2022-05