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Potential for Accumulation of Boron in Direct Potable Reuse

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This report analyzes the potential for accumulation of boron in direct potable reuse. Direct potable reuse treats water through desalination processes such as reverse osmosis or nanofiltration which can achieve rejection rates of salts sometimes above 90%. However, boron achieves

This report analyzes the potential for accumulation of boron in direct potable reuse. Direct potable reuse treats water through desalination processes such as reverse osmosis or nanofiltration which can achieve rejection rates of salts sometimes above 90%. However, boron achieves much lower rejection rates near 40%. Because of this low rejection rate, there is potential for boron to accumulate in the system to levels that are not recommended for potable human consumption of water. To analyze this issue a code was created that runs a steady state system that tracks the internal concentration, permeate concentration, wastewater concentration and reject concentration at various rejection rates, as well as all the flows. A series of flow and mass balances were performed through five different control volumes that denoted different stages in the water use. First was mixing of clean water with permeate; second, consumptive uses; third, addition of contaminant; fourth, wastewater treatment; fifth, advanced water treatments. The system cycled through each of these a number of times until steady state was reached. Utilities or cities considering employing direct potable reuse could utilize this model by estimating their consumption levels and input of contamination, and then seeing what percent rejection or inflow of makeup water they would need to obtain to keep boron levels at a low enough concentration to be fit for consumption. This code also provides options for analyzing spikes and recovery in the system due to spills, and evaporative uses such as cooling towers and their impact on the system.

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2017-12

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Comparison of four methods to assess silver release from nano impregnated reverse osmosis membranes

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With the application of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes in the wastewater treatment and seawater desalination, the limitation of flux and fouling problems of RO have gained more attention from researchers. Because of the tunable structure and physicochemical properties of nanomaterials,

With the application of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes in the wastewater treatment and seawater desalination, the limitation of flux and fouling problems of RO have gained more attention from researchers. Because of the tunable structure and physicochemical properties of nanomaterials, it is a suitable material that can be used to incorporate with RO to change the membrane performances. Silver is biocidal, which has been used in a variety of consumer products. Recent studies showed that fabricating silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on membrane surfaces can mitigate the biofouling problem on the membrane. Studies have shown that Ag released from the membrane in the form of either Ag ions or AgNP will accelerate the antimicrobial activity of the membrane. However, the silver release from the membrane will lower the silver loading on the membrane, which will eventually shorten the antimicrobial activity lifetime of the membrane. Therefore, the silver leaching amount is a crucial parameter that needs to be determined for every type of Ag composite membrane.

This study is attempting to compare four different silver leaching test methods, to study the silver leaching potential of the silver impregnated membranes, conducting the advantages and disadvantages of the leaching methods. An In-situ reduction Ag loaded RO membrane was examined in this study. A custom waterjet test was established to create a high-velocity water flow to test the silver leaching from the nanocomposite membrane in a relative extreme environment. The batch leaching test was examined as the most common leaching test method for the silver composite membrane. The cross-flow filtration and dead-end test were also examined to compare the silver leaching amounts.

The silver coated membrane used in this experiment has an initial silver loading of 2.0± 0.51 ug/cm2. The mass balance was conducted for all of the leaching tests. For the batch test, water jet test, and dead-end filtration, the mass balances are all within 100±25%, which is acceptable in this experiment because of the variance of the initial silver loading on the membranes. A bad silver mass balance was observed at cross-flow filtration. Both of AgNP and Ag ions leached in the solution was examined in this experiment. The concentration of total silver leaching into solutions from the four leaching tests are all below the Secondary Drinking Water Standard for silver which is 100 ppb. The cross-flow test is the most aggressive leaching method, which has more than 80% of silver leached from the membrane after 50 hours of the test. The water jet (54 ± 6.9% of silver remaining) can cause higher silver leaching than batch test (85 ± 1.2% of silver remaining) in one-hour, and it can also cause both AgNP and Ag ions leaching from the membrane, which is closer to the leaching condition in the cross-flow test.

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2017

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Electrospun polymeric nanocomposites for aqueous inorganic and organic pollutant removal

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Electrospinning is a means of fabricating micron-scale diameter fiber networks with enmeshed nanomaterials. Polymeric nanocomposites for water treatment require the manipulation of fiber morphology to expose nanomaterial surface area while anchoring the nanomaterials and maintaining fiber integrity; that is the

Electrospinning is a means of fabricating micron-scale diameter fiber networks with enmeshed nanomaterials. Polymeric nanocomposites for water treatment require the manipulation of fiber morphology to expose nanomaterial surface area while anchoring the nanomaterials and maintaining fiber integrity; that is the overarching goal of this dissertation. The first investigation studied the effect of metal oxide nanomaterial loadings on electrospinning process parameters such as critical voltage, viscosity, fiber diameter, and nanomaterial distribution. Increases in nanomaterial loading below 5% (w/v) were not found to affect critical voltage or fiber diameter. Nanomaterial dispersion was conserved throughout the process. Arsenic adsorption tests determined that the fibers were non-porous. Next, the morphologies of fibers made with carbonaceous materials and the effect of final fiber assembly on adsorption kinetics of a model organic contaminant (phenanthrene, PNT) was investigated. Superfine powdered activated carbon (SPAC), C60 fullerenes, multi-walled carbon nanotubes, and graphene platelets were added to PS and electrospun. SPAC maintained its internal pore structure and created porous fibers which had 30% greater PNT sorption than PS alone and a sevenfold increase in surface area. Carbon-based nanomaterial-PS fibers were thicker but less capacious than neat polystyrene electrospun fibers. The surface areas of the carbonaceous nanomaterial-polystyrene composites decreased compared to neat PS, and PNT adsorption experiments yielded decreased capacity for two out of three carbonaceous nanomaterials. Finally, the morphology and arsenic adsorption capacity of a porous TiO2-PS porous fiber was investigated. Porous fiber was made using polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) as a porogen. PVP, PS, and TiO2 were co-spun and the PVP was subsequently eliminated, leaving behind a porous fiber morphology which increased the surface area of the fiber sevenfold and exposed the nanoscale TiO2 enmeshed inside the PS. TiO2-PS fibers had comparable arsenic adsorption performance to non-embedded TiO2 despite containing less TiO2 mass. The use of a sacrificial polymer as a porogen facilitates the creation of a fiber morphology which provides access points between the target pollutant in an aqueous matrix and the sorptive nanomaterials enmeshed inside the fiber while anchoring the nanomaterials, thus preventing release.

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Date Created
2018

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Dependence of toxicity test results on sample removal methods of PV modules

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The volume of end-of-life photovoltaic (PV) modules is increasing as the global PV market increases, and the global PV waste streams are expected to reach 250,000 metric tons by the end of 2020. If the recycling processes are not in

The volume of end-of-life photovoltaic (PV) modules is increasing as the global PV market increases, and the global PV waste streams are expected to reach 250,000 metric tons by the end of 2020. If the recycling processes are not in place, there would be 60 million tons of end-of-life PV modules lying in the landfills by 2050, that may not become a not-so-sustainable way of sourcing energy since all PV modules could contain certain amount of toxic substances. Currently in the United States, PV modules are categorized as general waste and can be disposed in landfills. However, potential leaching of toxic chemicals and materials, if any, from broken end-of-life modules may pose health or environmental risks. There is no standard procedure to remove samples from PV modules for chemical toxicity testing in the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) laboratories as per EPA 1311 standard. The main objective of this thesis is to develop an unbiased sampling approach for the TCLP testing of PV modules. The TCLP testing was concentrated only for the laminate part of the modules, as they are already existing recycling technologies for the frame and junction box components of PV modules. Four different sample removal methods have been applied to the laminates of five different module manufacturers: coring approach, cell-cut approach, strip-cut approach, and hybrid approach. These removed samples were sent to two different TCLP laboratories, and TCLP results were tested for repeatability within a lab and reproducibility between the labs. The pros and cons of each sample removal method have been explored and the influence of sample removal methods on the variability of TCLP results has been discussed. To reduce the variability of TCLP results to an acceptable level, additional improvements in the coring approach, the best of the four tested options, are still needed.

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Date Created
2018

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Selenium removal from power plant waste water with solid phase extraction materials

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As selenium is toxic at low levels, treatment methods to remove selenium from industrial waste waters are needed. In this work, three groups of sorbent materials were investigated in detail for their effectiveness for selenium and arsenic removal from water:

As selenium is toxic at low levels, treatment methods to remove selenium from industrial waste waters are needed. In this work, three groups of sorbent materials were investigated in detail for their effectiveness for selenium and arsenic removal from water: 1) nanostructured carbon-based materials, 2) layered double hydroxide (LDH)-based materials, and 3) biopolymer-based sorbents. The materials were investigated in spiked de-ionized water and waters collected from different locations at Salt River Project’s (SRP) Santan Generating Station in Gilbert, AZ. The results show that nanostructured carbon-based materials removed ~80% and up to 100% selenium and arsenic, respectively in spiked DI water. Heat treated layered double hydroxides removed close to 100% removal in selenium and arsenic spiked DI water. Isotherms conducted in spiked DI water fit the Langmuir model and showed a maximum selenate adsorption capacity of 67 mg/g for the calcined LDH powder. Results from SRP waters showed that certain LDH sorbents were effective for removing the selenium, but that higher pH and existence of competing ions affected the removal efficiencies. The functionalized biopolymer sorbent from Crystal Clear Technologies: CCT-149/OCI-B showed good removal efficiencies for both selenate and selenite in DI water. Isotherms conducted in spiked DI water for CCT-149 fit the Langmuir model and showed a maximum selenate adsorption capacity of 90.9 mg/g. Column tests using spiked DI water and waters obtained from SRP wells were investigated using both LDH and CCT-149/OCI-B. Removal of sulfate using chemical pre-treatment of the water with barium chloride resulted in about three times higher selenate loading onto the granular LDH and doubled the water volume that can be treated using CCT-149/OCI-B. The results from the column tests are being used to guide the pilot testing investigating the implementation of LDH sorbents at pilot scale at the Santan plant. The good results in the cooling tower #5 blowdown water and combined discharge waste water of SRP provide valuable information about the efficacy and efficiency of adsorptive media for the removal of selenium. Composites comprising LDH nanosheets with different substrates were successfully synthesized that were able to retain the performance in removing selenate of nanosheet LDH.

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2017

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Environmental, Human Health, and Societal Impacts of Nanosilver and Ionic Silver Used in Industrial and Consumer Products

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Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are added to numerous consumer products to enhance their effectiveness, whether it be for environmental remediation, mechanical properties, or as dietary supplements. Uses of ENMs include adding to enhance products, carbon for strength or dielectric properties, silver

Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are added to numerous consumer products to enhance their effectiveness, whether it be for environmental remediation, mechanical properties, or as dietary supplements. Uses of ENMs include adding to enhance products, carbon for strength or dielectric properties, silver for antimicrobial properties, zinc oxide for UV sun-blocking properties, titanium dioxide for photocatalysis, or silica for desiccant properties. However, concerns arise from ENM functional properties that can impact the environment and a lack of regulation regarding ENMs leads to potential public exposure to ENMs and results in ill-informed public or manufacturer perceptions of ENMs. My dissertation evaluates the environmental, human health, and societal impacts of using ENMs, with a focus on ionic silver and nanosilver, in consumer and industrial products. Reproducible experiments served as functional assays to assess ENM distributions among various environmental matrices. Functional assay results were visualized using radar plots and aid in a framework to estimate likely ENM disposition in the environment. To assess beneficial uses of ENMs, bromide ion removal from drinking waters to limit disinfection by-product formation was studied. Silver-enabled graphene oxide materials were capable of removing bromide from water, and exhibited less competition from background solutes (e.g. natural organic matter) when compared against solely ionic silver addition to water for bromide removal. To assess complex interactions of ENMs with the microbiome, batch experiments were performed using fecal samples spiked with ionic silver or commercial dietary silver nanoparticles. Dietary nanosilver and ionic silver exposures to the fecal microbiome for 24 hours reduce short chain fatty acid (SCFA) production and changes the relative abundance of the microbiota. To understand the social perceptions of ENMS, statistically rigorous surveys were conducted to assess related perceptions related to the use of ENMs in drinking water treatment devices the general public and, separately, industrial manufacturers. These stakeholders are influenced by costs and efficiency of the technologies, consumer concerns of the safety of technologies, and environmental health and safety of the technologies. This dissertation represents novel research that took an interdisciplinary approach, spanning from wet-lab engineering bench scale testing to social science survey assessments to better understand the environmental, human health, and societal impacts of using ENMs such as nanosilver and ionic silver in industrial processes and consumer products.

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Date Created
2020