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Impact of copper nanoparticles on inactivation and toxicity pathway on model bacteria

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Nanotechnology is a scientific field that has recently expanded due to its applications in pharmaceutical and personal care products, industry and agriculture. As result of this unprecedented growth, nanoparticles (NPs) have become a significant environmental contaminant, with potential to impact

Nanotechnology is a scientific field that has recently expanded due to its applications in pharmaceutical and personal care products, industry and agriculture. As result of this unprecedented growth, nanoparticles (NPs) have become a significant environmental contaminant, with potential to impact various forms of life in environment. Metal nanoparticles (mNPs) exhibit unique properties such as increased chemical reactivity due to high specific surface area to volume ratios. Bacteria play a major role in many natural and engineered biogeochemical reactions in wastewater treatment plants and other environmental compartments. I have evaluated the laboratory isolates of E. coli, Bacillus, Alcaligenes, Pseudomonas; wastewater isolates of E. coli and Bacillus; and pathogenic isolate of E. coli for their response to 50 & 100 nm sized Cu nanoparticles (CuNPs). Bactericidal tests, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses, and probable toxicity pathways assays were performed. The results indicate that under continuous mixing conditions, CuNPs are effective in inactivation of the selected bacterial isolates. In general, exposure to CuNPs resulted in 4 to >6 log reduction in bacterial population within 2 hours. Based on the GR, LDH and MTT assays, bacterial cells showed different toxicity elicitation pathways after exposure to CuNPs. Therefore, it can be concluded that the laboratory isolates are good candidates for predicting the behavior of environmental isolates exposed to CuNPs. Also, high inactivation values recorded in this study suggest that the presence of CuNPs in different environmental compartments may have an impact on pollutants attenuation and wastewater biological treatment processes. These results point towards the need for an in depth investigation of the impact of NPs on the biological processes; and long-term effect of high load of NPs on the stability of aquatic and terrestrial ecologies.

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2012

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Multivariable Analysis for Irrigation with Gray Water, Impact of Turbidity and Organic Content in Gray Water on Bacterial Inactivation

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The impact of physical/chemical properties of gray water on microbial inactivation in gray water using chlorine was investigated through creating artificial gray water in lab, varying specific components, and then measuring microbial inactivation. Gray water was made through taking autoclaved

The impact of physical/chemical properties of gray water on microbial inactivation in gray water using chlorine was investigated through creating artificial gray water in lab, varying specific components, and then measuring microbial inactivation. Gray water was made through taking autoclaved nanopure water, and increasing the concentration of surfacants, the turbidity, the concentration of organic content, and spiking E. coli grown in tryptic soy broth (TSB); chlorine was introduced using Clorox Disinfecting Bleach2. Bacteria was detected using tryptic soy agar (TSA), and E. coli was specifically detected using the selective media, brilliance. The log inactivation of bacteria detected using TSA was shown to be inversely related to the turbidity of the solution. Complete inactivation of E. coli concentrations between 104-105 CFU/100 ml in gray water with turbidities between 10-100 NTU, 0.1-0.5 mg/L of humic acid, and 0.1 ml of Dawn Ultra, was shown to occur, as detected by brilliance, at chlorine concentrations of 1-2 mg/L within 30 seconds. These result in concentration time (CT) values between 0.5-1 mg/L·min. Under the same gray water conditions, and an E. coli concentration of 104 CFU/100 ml and a chlorine concentration of 0.01 mg/L, complete inactivation was shown to occur in all trials within two minutes. These result in CT values ranging from 0.005 to 0.02. The turbidity and humic acid concentration were shown to be inversely related to the log inactivation and directly related to the CT value. This study shows that chlorination is a valid method of treatment of gray water for certain irrigation reuses.

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2020-05

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Impact of viral infectivity on phototrophic microbes for biofuel applications

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Research in microbial biofuels has dramatically increased over the last decade. The bulk of this research has focused on increasing the production yields of cyanobacteria and algal cells and improving extraction processes. However, there has been little to no research

Research in microbial biofuels has dramatically increased over the last decade. The bulk of this research has focused on increasing the production yields of cyanobacteria and algal cells and improving extraction processes. However, there has been little to no research on the potential impact of viruses on the yields of these phototrophic microbes for biofuel production. Viruses have the potential to significantly reduce microbial populations and limit their growth rates. It is therefore important to understand how viruses affect phototrophic microbes and the prevalence of these viruses in the environment. For this study, phototrophic microbes were grown in glass bioreactors, under continuous light and aeration. Detection and quantification of viruses of both environmental and laboratory microbial strains were measured through the use of a plaque assay. Plates were incubated at 25º C under continuous direct florescent light. Several environmental samples were taken from Tempe Town Lake (Tempe, AZ) and all the samples tested positive for viruses. Virus free phototrophic microbes were obtained from plaque assay plates by using a sterile loop to scoop up a virus free portion of the microbial lawn and transferred into a new bioreactor. Isolated cells were confirmed virus free through subsequent plaque assays. Viruses were detected from the bench scale bioreactors of Cyanobacteria Synechocystis PCC 6803 and the environmental samples. Viruses were consistently present through subsequent passage in fresh cultures; demonstrating viral contamination can be a chronic problem. In addition TEM was performed to examine presence or viral attachment to cyanobacterial cells and to characterize viral particles morphology. Electron micrographs obtained confirmed viral attachment and that the viruses detected were all of a similar size and shape. Particle sizes were measured to be approximately 50-60 nm. Cell reduction was observed as a decrease in optical density, with a transition from a dark green to a yellow green color for the cultures. Phototrophic microbial viruses were demonstrated to persist in the natural environment and to cause a reduction in algal populations in the bioreactors. Therefore it is likely that viruses could have a significant impact on microbial biofuel production by limiting the yields of production ponds.

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Date Created
2014

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Shortcut Nitrogen Removal Decision Tools for Wastewater Treatment

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Nitrogen removal and energy reduction in wastewater treatment are shared goals. Approaches to achieve those goals include the techniques of shortcut nitrogen removal utilizing nitrite shunt, biocatalyst, nitritation, deammonification, and simultaneous nitrification-denitrification. The practice of those techniques is newer in

Nitrogen removal and energy reduction in wastewater treatment are shared goals. Approaches to achieve those goals include the techniques of shortcut nitrogen removal utilizing nitrite shunt, biocatalyst, nitritation, deammonification, and simultaneous nitrification-denitrification. The practice of those techniques is newer in the industry of wastewater treatment but continues to develop, along with the understanding of the biological and chemical activities that drive those processes. The kinetics and stoichiometry of traditional and shortcut nitrogen removal reactions are generally well understood to date. However, the thermodynamics of those processes are complex and deserve additional research to better understand the dominant factors that drive cell synthesis. Additionally, the implementation of nitrogen shortcut techniques can reduce the footprint of wastewater treatment processes that implement nitrogen removal by approximately 5 percent and can reduce operating costs by between 12 and 26 percent annually. Combined, nitrogen shortcut techniques can contribute to significant reduction in the long-term cost to operate, due to lower energy and consumable requirements, fast reaction times resulting in shorter solids retention times, and improvement efficiency in nitrogen removal from wastewater. This dissertation explores and defines the dominant factors that contribute to the success of efficiencies in traditional and shortcut nitrogen removal techniques, focusing on the natural microbiological processes. The culmination of these efforts was used to develop decision matrices to promote consideration of nitrogen shortcut techniques by practitioners during conceptual planning and design of wastewater treatment facilities.

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2021