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Dating Deep-Sea Pelagic Clays with Osmium Isotopes to Reconstruct Sources of Iron to the South Pacific Gyre over 90 Million Years

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Iron (Fe) scarcity limits biological productivity in high-nutrient low-chlorophyll (HNLC) ocean regions. Thus, the input, output and abundance of Fe in seawater likely played a critical role in shaping the development of modern marine ecosystems and perhaps even contributed to

Iron (Fe) scarcity limits biological productivity in high-nutrient low-chlorophyll (HNLC) ocean regions. Thus, the input, output and abundance of Fe in seawater likely played a critical role in shaping the development of modern marine ecosystems and perhaps even contributed to past changes in Earth’s climate. Three sources of Fe—wind-blown dust, hydrothermal activity, and sediment dissolution—carry distinct Fe isotopic fingerprints, and can therefore be used to track Fe source variability through time. However, establishing the timing of this source variability through Earth’s history remains challenging because the major depocenters for dissolved Fe in the ocean lack well-established chronologies. This is due to the fact that they are difficult to date with traditional techniques such as biostratigraphy and radiometric dating. Here, I develop age models for sediments collected from the International Drilling Program Expedition 329 by measuring the Os (osmium) isotopic composition of the hydrogenous portion of the clays. These extractions enable dating of the clays by aligning the Os isotope patterns observed in the clays to those in a reference curve with absolute age constraints through the Cenozoic. Our preliminary data enable future development of chronologies for three sediment cores from the high-latitude South Pacific and Southern Oceans, and demonstrate a wider utility of this method to establish age constraints on pelagic sediments worldwide. Moreover, the preliminary Os isotopic data provides a critical first step needed to examine the changes in Fe (iron) sources and cycling on millions of years timescales. Fe isotopic analysis was conducted at the same sites in the South Pacific and demonstrates that there are significant changes in the sources of Fe to the Southern Ocean over the last 90 Ma. These results lay the groundwork for the exploration of basin-scale sources to Fe source changes, which will have implications for understanding how biological productivity relates to Fe source variability over geological timescales.

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2018-05

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Characterization of carbonaceous aerosol over the north Atlantic Ocean

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Atmospheric particulate matter has a substantial impact on global climate due to its ability to absorb/scatter solar radiation and act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Yet, little is known about marine aerosol, in particular, the carbonaceous fraction. In the present

Atmospheric particulate matter has a substantial impact on global climate due to its ability to absorb/scatter solar radiation and act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Yet, little is known about marine aerosol, in particular, the carbonaceous fraction. In the present work, particulate matter was collected, using High Volume (HiVol) samplers, onto quartz fiber substrates during a series of research cruises on the Atlantic Ocean. Samples were collected on board the R/V Endeavor on West–East (March–April, 2006) and East–West (June–July, 2006) transects in the North Atlantic, as well as on the R/V Polarstern during a North–South (October–November, 2005) transect along the western coast of Europe and Africa. The aerosol total carbon (TC) concentrations for the West–East (Narragansett, RI, USA to Nice, France) and East–West (Heraklion, Crete, Greece to Narragansett, RI, USA) transects were generally low over the open ocean (0.36±0.14 μg C/m3) and increased as the ship approached coastal areas (2.18±1.37 μg C/m3), due to increased terrestrial/anthropogenic aerosol inputs. The TC for the North–South transect samples decreased in the southern hemisphere with the exception of samples collected near the 15th parallel where calculations indicate the air mass back trajectories originated from the continent. Seasonal variation in organic carbon (OC) was seen in the northern hemisphere open ocean samples with average values of 0.45 μg/m3 and 0.26 μg/m3 for spring and summer, respectively. These low summer time values are consistent with SeaWiFS satellite images that show decreasing chlorophyll a concentration (a proxy for phytoplankton biomass) in the summer. There is also a statistically significant (p<0.05) decline in surface water fluorescence in the summer. Moreover, examination of water–soluble organic carbon (WSOC) shows that the summer aerosol samples appear to have a higher fraction of the lower molecular weight material, indicating that the samples may be more oxidized (aged). The seasonal variation in aerosol content seen during the two 2006 cruises is evidence that a primary biological marine source is a significant contributor to the carbonaceous particulate in the marine atmosphere and is consistent with previous studies of clean marine air masses.

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2011

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Soot black carbon dynamics in arid/urban ecosystem

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Black carbon (BC) is the product of incomplete combustion of biomass and fossil fuels. It is found ubiquitously in nature and is relevant to studies in atmospheric science, soil science, oceanography, and anthropology. Black carbon is best described using a

Black carbon (BC) is the product of incomplete combustion of biomass and fossil fuels. It is found ubiquitously in nature and is relevant to studies in atmospheric science, soil science, oceanography, and anthropology. Black carbon is best described using a combustion continuum that sub-classifies BC into slightly charred biomass, char, charcoal and soot. These sub-classifications range in particle size, formation temperature, and relative reactivity. Interest in BC has increased because of its role in the long-term storage of organic matter and the biogeochemistry of urban areas. The global BC budget is unbalanced. Production of BC greatly outweighs decomposition of BC. This suggests that there are unknown or underestimated BC removal processes, and it is likely that some of these processes are occurring in soils. However, little is known about BC reactivity in soil and especially in desert soil. This work focuses on soot BC, which is formed at higher temperatures and has a lower relative reactivity than other forms of BC. Here, I assess the contribution of soot BC to central AZ soils and use the isotopic composition of soot BC to identify sources of soot BC. Soot BC is a significant (31%) fraction of the soil organic matter in central AZ and this work suggests that desert and urban soils may be a storage reservoir for soot BC. I further identify previously unknown removal processes of soot BC found naturally in soil and demonstrate that soil soot BC undergoes abiotic (photo-oxidation) and biotic reactions. Not only is soot BC degraded by these processes, but its chemical composition is altered, suggesting that soot BC contains some chemical moieties that are more reactive than others. Because soot BC demonstrates both refractory and reactive character, it is likely that the structure of soot BC; therefore, its interactions in the environment are complex and it is not simply a recalcitrant material.

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2013

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Exploiting bioparticles: from new properties of liposomes to novel applications of bioaerosol analysis

Description

Bioparticles comprise a diverse amount of materials ubiquitously present in nature. From proteins to aerosolized biological debris, bioparticles have important roles spanning from regulating cellular functions to possibly influencing global climate. Understanding their structures, functions, and properties provides

Bioparticles comprise a diverse amount of materials ubiquitously present in nature. From proteins to aerosolized biological debris, bioparticles have important roles spanning from regulating cellular functions to possibly influencing global climate. Understanding their structures, functions, and properties provides the necessary tools to expand our fundamental knowledge of biological systems and exploit them for useful applications. In order to contribute to this efforts, the work presented in this dissertation focuses on the study of electrokinetic properties of liposomes and novel applications of bioaerosol analysis. Using immobilized lipid vesicles under the influence of modest (less than 100 V/cm) electric fields, a novel strategy for bionanotubule fabrication with superior throughput and simplicity was developed. Fluorescence and bright field microscopy was used to describe the formation of these bilayer-bound cylindrical structures, which have been previously identified in nature (playing crucial roles in intercellular communication) and made synthetically by direct mechanical manipulation of membranes. In the biological context, the results of this work suggest that mechanical electrostatic interaction may play a role in the shape and function of individual biological membranes and networks of membrane-bound structures. A second project involving liposomes focused on membrane potential measurements in vesicles containing trans-membrane pH gradients. These types of gradients consist of differential charge states in the lipid bilayer leaflets, which have been shown to greatly influence the efficacy of drug targeting and the treatment of diseases such as cancer. Here, these systems are qualitatively and quantitatively assessed by using voltage-sensitive membrane dyes and fluorescence spectroscopy. Bioaerosol studies involved exploring the feasibility of a fingerprinting technology based on current understanding of cellular debris in aerosols and arguments regarding sampling, sensitivity, separations and detection schemes of these debris. Aerosolized particles of cellular material and proteins emitted by humans, animals and plants can be considered information-rich packets that carry biochemical information specific to the living organisms present in the collection settings. These materials could potentially be exploited for identification purposes. Preliminary studies evaluated protein concentration trends in both indoor and outdoor locations. Results indicated that concentrations correlate to certain conditions of the collection environment (e.g. extent of human presence), supporting the idea that bioaerosol fingerprinting is possible.

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Date Created
2011

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Chloroform formation from swimming pool disinfection: a significant source of atmospheric chloroform in Phoenix?

Description

Chloroform (CHCl3) is an important atmospheric pollutant by its direct health effects as well as by its contribution to photochemical smog formation. Chloroform outgassing from swimming pools is not typically considered a source of atmospheric CHCl3 because swimming pools are

Chloroform (CHCl3) is an important atmospheric pollutant by its direct health effects as well as by its contribution to photochemical smog formation. Chloroform outgassing from swimming pools is not typically considered a source of atmospheric CHCl3 because swimming pools are scarce compared to other sources. However, large urban areas in hot climates such as Phoenix, AZ contain a substantial amount of swimming pools, potentially resulting in significant atmospheric fluxes. In this study, CHCl3 formation potential (FP) from disinfection of swimming pools in Phoenix was investigated through laboratory experiments and annual CHCl3 emission fluxes from swimming pools were estimated based on the experimental data.

Swimming pool water (collected in June 2014 in Phoenix) and model contaminants (Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs), Endocrine Disrupting Compounds (EDCs), artificial sweeteners, and artificial human waste products) were chlorinated in controlled laboratory experiments. The CHCl3 production during chlorination was determined using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) following solid-phase microextraction (SPME). Upon chlorination, all swimming pool water samples and contaminants produced measureable amounts of chloroform. Chlorination of swimming pool water produced 0.005-0.134 mol CHCl3/mol C and 0.004-0.062 mol CHCl3/mol Cl2 consumed. Chlorination of model contaminants produced 0.004-0.323 mol CHCl3/mol C and 0.001-0.247 mol CHCl3/mol Cl2 consumed. These numbers are comparable and indicate that the model contaminants react similarly to swimming pool water during chlorination. The CHCl3 flux from swimming pools in Phoenix was estimated at approximately 3.9-4.3 Gg/yr and was found to be largely dependent on water temperature and wind speed while air temperature had little effect. This preliminary estimate is orders of magnitude larger than previous estimates of anthropogenic emissions in Phoenix suggesting that swimming pools might be a significant source of atmospheric CHCl3 locally.

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2014

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New nanostructured aluminosilicates from geopolymer chemistry

Description

Geopolymers, a class of X-ray amorphous, ceramic-like aluminosilicate materials are produced at ambient temperatures through a process called geopolymerization. Due to both low energy requirement during synthesis and interesting mechanical and chemical properties, geopolymers are grabbing enormous attention.

Geopolymers, a class of X-ray amorphous, ceramic-like aluminosilicate materials are produced at ambient temperatures through a process called geopolymerization. Due to both low energy requirement during synthesis and interesting mechanical and chemical properties, geopolymers are grabbing enormous attention. Although geopolymers have a broad range of applications including thermal/acoustic insulation and waste immobilization, they are always prepared in monolithic form. The primary aim of this study is to produce new nanostructured materials from the geopolymerization process, including porous monoliths and powders.

In view of the current interest in porous geopolymers for non-traditional applications, it is becoming increasingly important to develop synthetic techniques to introduce interconnected pores into the geopolymers. This study presents a simple synthetic route to produce hierarchically porous geopolymers via a reactive emulsion templating process utilizing triglyceride oil. In this new method, highly alkaline geopolymer resin is mixed with canola oil to form a homogeneous viscous emulsion which, when cured at 60 °C, gives a hard monolithic material. During the process, the oil in the alkaline emulsion undergoes a saponification reaction to decompose into water-soluble soap and glycerol molecules which are extracted to yield porous geopolymers. Nitrogen sorption studies indicates the presence of mesopores, whereas the SEM studies reveals that the mesoporous geopolymer matrix is dotted with spherical macropores. The method exhibits flexibility in that the pore structure of the final porous geopolymers products can be adjusted by varying the precursor composition.

In a second method, the geopolymerization process is modified to produce highly dispersible geopolymer particles, by activating metakaolin with sodium silicate solutions containing excess alkali, and curing for short duration under moist conditions. The produced geopolymer particles exhibit morphology similar to carbon blacks and structured silicas, while also being stable over a wide pH range.

Finally, highly crystalline hierarchical faujasite zeolites are prepared by yet another modification of the geopolymerization process. In this technique, the second method is combined with a saponification reaction of triglyceride oil. The resulting hierarchical zeolites exhibit superior CO2-sorption properties compared to equivalent commercially available and currently reported materials. Additionally, the simplicity of all three of these techniques means they are readily scalable.

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2015

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Mechanistic studies of one-electron reduced bipyridine reactions relevant to carbon dioxide sequestration

Description

Increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will inevitably lead to long-term changes in climate that can have serious consequences. Controlling anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, however, represents a significant technological challenge. Various chemical approaches have

Increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will inevitably lead to long-term changes in climate that can have serious consequences. Controlling anthropogenic emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, however, represents a significant technological challenge. Various chemical approaches have been suggested, perhaps the most promising of these is based on electrochemical trapping of carbon dioxide using pyridine and derivatives. Optimization of this process requires a detailed understanding of the mechanisms of the reactions of reduced pyridines with carbon dioxide, which are not currently well known. This thesis describes a detailed mechanistic study of the nucleophilic and Bronsted basic properties of the radical anion of bipyridine as a model pyridine derivative, formed by one-electron reduction, with particular emphasis on the reactions with carbon dioxide. A time-resolved spectroscopic method was used to characterize the key intermediates and determine the kinetics of the reactions of the radical anion and its protonated radical form. Using a pulsed nanosecond laser, the bipyridine radical anion could be generated in-situ in less than 100 ns, which allows fast reactions to be monitored in real time. The bipyridine radical anion was found to be a very powerful one-electron donor, Bronsted base and nucleophile. It reacts by addition to the C=O bonds of ketones with a bimolecular rate constant around 1* 107 M-1 s-1. These are among the fastest nucleophilic additions that have been reported in literature. Temperature dependence studies demonstrate very low activation energies and large Arrhenius pre-exponential parameters, consistent with very high reactivity. The kinetics of E2 elimination, where the radical anion acts as a base, and SN2 substitution, where the radical anion acts as a nucleophile, are also characterized by large bimolecular rate constants in the range ca. 106 - 107 M-1 s-1. The pKa of the bipyridine radical anion was measured using a kinetic method and analysis of the data using a Marcus theory model for proton transfer. The bipyridine radical anion is found to have a pKa of 40±5 in DMSO. The reorganization energy for the proton transfer reaction was found to be 70±5 kJ/mol. The bipyridine radical anion was found to react very rapidly with carbon dioxide, with a bimolecular rate constant of 1* 108 M-1 s-1 and a small activation energy, whereas the protonated radical reacted with carbon dioxide with a rate constant that was too small to measure. The kinetic and thermodynamic data obtained in this work can be used to understand the mechanisms of the reactions of pyridines with carbon dioxide under reducing conditions.

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Date Created
2015

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Indoor air quality investigations on particulate matter, carbonyls, and tobacco specific nitrosamines

Description

Americans spend upwards of 90% of their time indoors, hence indoor air quality (IAQ) and the impact of IAQ on human health is a major public health concern. IAQ can be negatively impacted by outdoor pollution infiltrating indoors, the emission

Americans spend upwards of 90% of their time indoors, hence indoor air quality (IAQ) and the impact of IAQ on human health is a major public health concern. IAQ can be negatively impacted by outdoor pollution infiltrating indoors, the emission of indoor pollutants, indoor atmospheric chemistry and poor ventilation. Energy saving measures like retrofits to seal the building envelope to prevent the leakage of heated or cooled air will impact IAQ. However, existing studies have been inconclusive as to whether increased energy efficiency is leading to detrimental IAQ. In this work, field campaigns were conducted in apartment homes in Phoenix, Arizona to evaluate IAQ as it relates to particulate matter (PM), carbonyls, and tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNA).

To investigate the impacts of an energy efficiency retrofit on IAQ, indoor and outdoor air quality sampling was carried out at Sunnyslope Manor, a city-subsidized senior living apartment complex. Measured indoor formaldehyde levels before the building retrofit exceeded reference exposure limits, but in the long term follow-up sampling, indoor formaldehyde decreased for the entire study population by a statistically significant margin. Indoor PM levels were dominated by fine particles and showed a statistically significant decrease in the long term follow-up sampling within certain resident subpopulations (i.e. residents who reported smoking and residents who had lived longer at the apartment complex). Additionally, indoor glyoxal and methylglyoxal exceeded outdoor concentrations, with methylglyoxal being more prevalent pre-retrofit than glyoxal, suggesting different chemical pathways are involved. Indoor concentrations reported are larger than previous studies. TSNAs, specifically N'-nitrosonornicotine (NNN), 4-(methyl-nitrosamino)-4-(3-pyridyl)-butanal (NNA) and 4-(methylnitrosoamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) were evaluated post-retrofit at Sunnyslope Manor. Of the units tested, 86% of the smoking units and 46% of the non-smoking units had traces of at least one of the nitrosamines.

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2014

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Uranium isotope fractionation during coprecipitation with aragonite and calcite

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Natural variations in 238U/235U of marine carbonates might provide a useful way of constraining redox conditions of ancient environments. In order to evaluate the reliability of this proxy, we conducted aragonite and calcite coprecipitation experiments at pH ~7.5 and ~

Natural variations in 238U/235U of marine carbonates might provide a useful way of constraining redox conditions of ancient environments. In order to evaluate the reliability of this proxy, we conducted aragonite and calcite coprecipitation experiments at pH ~7.5 and ~ 8.5 to study possible U isotope fractionation during incorporation into these minerals.

Small but significant U isotope fractionation was observed in aragonite experiments at pH ~ 8.5, with heavier U in the solid phase. 238U/235U of dissolved U in these experiments can be fit by Rayleigh fractionation curves with fractionation factors of 1.00007+0.00002/-0.00003, 1.00005 ± 0.00001, and 1.00003 ± 0.00001. In contrast, no resolvable U isotope fractionation was observed in an aragonite experiment at pH ~7.5 or in calcite experiments at either pH. Equilibrium isotope fractionation among different aqueous U species is the most likely explanation for these findings. Certain charged U species are preferentially incorporated into calcium carbonate relative to the uncharged U species Ca2UO2(CO3)3(aq), which we hypothesize has a lighter equilibrium U isotope composition than most of the charged species. According to this hypothesis, the magnitude of U isotope fractionation should scale with the fraction of dissolved U that is present as Ca2UO2(CO3)3 (aq). This expectation is confirmed by equilibrium speciation modeling of our experiments. Theoretical calculation of the U isotope fractionation factors between different U species could further test this hypothesis and our proposed fractionation mechanism.

These findings suggest that U isotope variations in ancient carbonates could be controlled by changes in the aqueous speciation of seawater U, particularly changes in seawater pH, PCO2, [Ca], or [Mg] concentrations. In general, these effects are likely to be small (<0.13 ‰), but are nevertheless potentially significant because of the small natural range of variation of 238U/235U.

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Date Created
2015

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Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) redistribution in extreme dust storms and processing in clouds

Description

Dust storms known as 'haboobs' occur in the City of Tempe, AZ during the North American monsoon season. A haboob classification method based on meteorological and air quality measurements is described. There were from 3 to 20 haboob events per

Dust storms known as 'haboobs' occur in the City of Tempe, AZ during the North American monsoon season. A haboob classification method based on meteorological and air quality measurements is described. There were from 3 to 20 haboob events per year over the period from 2005 to 2014. The calculated annual TSP (total suspended particulate) dry deposition during haboobs is estimated to contribute 74% of the total particulate mass deposited in Tempe, AZ.

Dry deposition is compared with the aqueous chemistry of Tempe Town Lake. Water management and other factors may have a stronger impact on Tempe Town Lake chemistry than haboob dry-deposition. Haboobs alter the Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations and distributions in Tempe, AZ. PAH isomer ratios suggest PM2.5 (particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters less than or equal to 2.5 μm) sources consistent with approximate thunderstorm outflow paths.

The importance of the atmospheric aqueous phase, fogs and clouds, for the processing and removal of PAHs is not well known. A multiphase model was developed to determine the fate and lifetime of PAHs in fogs and clouds. The model employed literature values that describe the partitioning between three phases (aqueous, liquid organic, and gas), in situ PAH measurements, and experimental and estimated (photo)oxidation rates. At 25 °C, PAHs with two, three and four rings were predicted to be primarily gas phase (fraction in the gas phase xg > 90 %) while five- and six-ring PAHs partitioned significantly into droplets (xg < 60 %) with aqueous phase fractions of 1 to 6 % and liquid organic phase fractions of 31 to 91 %. The predicted atmospheric lifetimes of PAHs in the presence of fog or cloud droplets (< 5 hours) were significantly shorter than literature predictions of PAH wet and dry deposition lifetimes (1 to 14 days and 5 to 15 months respectively) and shorter than or equal to predicted PAH gas phase / particle phase atmospheric lifetimes (1 to 300 hours). The aqueous phase cannot be neglected as a PAH sink due to the large aqueous volume (vs. organic volume) and the relatively fast aqueous reactions.

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Date Created
2016