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Geomembrane Seam Strain Concentrations in Landfill Liners

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This dissertation details an attempt to experimentally evaluate the Giroud et al. (1995) concentration factors for geomembranes loaded in tension perpendicular to a seam by laboratory measurement. Field observations of the performance of geomembrane liner systems indicates that tears occur

This dissertation details an attempt to experimentally evaluate the Giroud et al. (1995) concentration factors for geomembranes loaded in tension perpendicular to a seam by laboratory measurement. Field observations of the performance of geomembrane liner systems indicates that tears occur at average strains well below the yield criteria. These observations have been attributed, in part, to localized strain concentrations in the geomembrane loaded in tension in a direction perpendicular to the seam. Giroud et al. (1995) has presented theoretical strain concentration factors for geomembrane seams loaded in tension when the seam is perpendicular to the applied tensile strain. However, these factors have never been verified. This dissertation was prepared in fulfillment of the requirements for graduation from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. The work described herein was sponsored by the National Science Foundation as a part of a larger research project entitled "NEESR: Performance Based Design of Geomembrane Liner Systems Subject to Extreme Loading." The work is motivated by geomembrane tears observed at the Chiquita Canyon landfill following the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Numerical analysis of the strains in the Chiquita Canyon landfill liner induced by the earthquake indicated that the tensile strains, were well below the yield strain of the geomembrane material. In order to explain why the membrane did fail, strain concentration factors due to bending at seams perpendicular to the load in the model proposed by Giroud et al. (1995) had to be applied to the geomembrane (Arab, 2011). Due to the localized nature of seam strain concentrations, digital image correlation (DIC) was used. The high resolution attained with DIC had a sufficient resolution to capture the localized strain concentrations. High density polyethylene (HDPE) geomembrane samples prepared by a leading geomembrane manufacturer were used in the testing described herein. The samples included both extrusion fillet and dual hot wedge fusion seams. The samples were loaded in tension in a standard triaxial test apparatus. to the seams in the samples including both extrusion fillet and dual hot wedge seams. DIC was used to capture the deformation field and strain fields were subsequently created by computer analysis.

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Date Created
2016-05

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The Properties and Longevity of Crude Urease Extract for Biocementation

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Urease, an amidohydrolase, is an essential ingredient in the emerging engineering technique of biocementation. When free urease enzyme is used this carbonate precipitation process is often referred to as enzyme induced carbonate precipitation (EICP). To date, most engineering applications of

Urease, an amidohydrolase, is an essential ingredient in the emerging engineering technique of biocementation. When free urease enzyme is used this carbonate precipitation process is often referred to as enzyme induced carbonate precipitation (EICP). To date, most engineering applications of EICP have used commercially available powdered urease. However, the high cost of commercially available urease is a major barrier to adoption of engineering applications of EICP in practice. The objective of this dissertation was to develop a simple and inexpensive enzyme production technique using agricultural resources. The specific objectives of this dissertation were (i) to develop a simple extraction process to obtain urease from common agricultural resources and identify a preferred agricultural resource for further study, (ii) to reduce the cost of enzyme production by eliminating the use of a buffer, centrifugation, and dehusking of the beans during the extraction process, (iii) investigate the stability of the extracted enzyme both in solution and after reduction to a powder by lyophilization (freeze-drying), and (iv) to study the kinetics of the extracted enzyme.
The results presented in this dissertation confirmed that inexpensive crude extracts of urease from agricultural products, including jack beans, soybeans, and watermelon seeds, are effective at catalyzing urea hydrolysis for carbonate precipitation. Based upon unit yield, jack beans were identified as the preferred agricultural resource for urease extraction. Results also showed that the jack bean extract retained its activity even after replacing the buffer with tap water and eliminating acetone fractionation, centrifugation, and dehusking. It was also found that the lyophilized crude extract maintained its activity during storage for at least one year and more effectively than either the crude extract solution or rehydrated commercial urease. The kinetics of the extracted enzyme was studied to gain greater insight into the optimum concentration of urea in engineering applications of EICP. Results showed higher values for the half-saturation coefficient of the crude extract compared to the commercial enzymes.
The results presented in this dissertation demonstrate the potential for a significant reduction in the cost of applying EICP in engineering practice by mass production of urease enzyme via a simple extraction process.

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Date Created
2021

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Pore-scale Study of Bio-mineral and Bio-gas Formations in Porous Media

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The potential of using bio-geo-chemical processes for applications in geotechnical engineering has been widely explored in order to overcome the limitation of traditional ground improvement techniques. Biomineralization via urea hydrolysis, referred to as Microbial or Enzymatic Induced Carbonate Precipitation (MICP/EICP),

The potential of using bio-geo-chemical processes for applications in geotechnical engineering has been widely explored in order to overcome the limitation of traditional ground improvement techniques. Biomineralization via urea hydrolysis, referred to as Microbial or Enzymatic Induced Carbonate Precipitation (MICP/EICP), has been shown to increase soil strength by stimulating precipitation of calcium carbonate minerals, bonding soil particles and filling the pores. Microbial Induced Desaturation and Precipitation (MIDP) via denitrification has also been studied for its potential to stabilize soils through mineral precipitation, but also through production of biogas, which can mitigate earthquake induced liquefaction by desaturation of the soil. Empirical relationships have been established, which relate the amount of products of these biochemical processes to the engineering properties of treated soils. However, these engineering properties may vary significantly depending on the biomineral and biogas formation mechanism and distribution patterns at pore-scale. This research focused on the pore-scale characterization of biomineral and biogas formations in porous media.

The pore-scale characteristics of calcium carbonate precipitation via EICP and biogenic gas formation via MIDP were explored by visual observation in a transparent porous media using a microfluidic chip. For this purpose, an imaging system was designed and image processing algorithms were developed to analyze the experimental images and detect the nucleation and growth of precipitated minerals and formation and migration mechanisms of gas bubbles within the microfluidic chip. Statistical analysis was performed based on the processed images to assess the evolution of biomineral size distribution, the number of precipitated minerals and the porosity reduction in time. The resulting images from the biomineralization study were used in a numerical simulation to investigate the relation between the mineral distribution, porosity-permeability relationships and process efficiency. By comparing biogenic gas production with abiotic gas production experiments, it was found that the gas formation significantly affects the gas distribution and resulting degree of saturation. The experimental results and image analysis provide insight in the kinetics of the precipitation and gas formation processes and their resulting distribution and related engineering properties.

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Date Created
2019

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Enhancing Reductive Dechlorination through Electrokinetic Transport and Microbially Driven H2 Cycling in the Subsurface

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Water is a vital resource, and its protection is a priority world-wide. One widespread threat to water quality is contamination by chlorinated solvents. These dry-cleaning and degreasing agents entered the watershed through spills and improper disposal and now are

Water is a vital resource, and its protection is a priority world-wide. One widespread threat to water quality is contamination by chlorinated solvents. These dry-cleaning and degreasing agents entered the watershed through spills and improper disposal and now are detected in 4% of U.S. aquifers and 4.5-18% of U.S. drinking water sources. The health effects of these contaminants can be severe, as they are associated with damage to the nervous, liver, kidney, and reproductive systems, developmental issues, and possibly cancer. Chlorinated solvents must be removed or transformed to improve water quality and protect human and environmental health. One remedy, bioaugmentation, the subsurface addition of microbial cultures able to transform contaminants, has been implemented successfully at hundreds of sites since the 1990s. Bioaugmentation uses the bacteria Dehalococcoides to transform chlorinated solvents with hydrogen, H2, as the electron donor. At advection limited sites, bioaugmentation can be combined with electrokinetics (EK-Bio) to enhance transport. However, challenges for successful bioremediation remain. In this work I addressed several knowledge gaps surrounding bioaugmentation and EK-Bio. I measured the H2 consuming capacity of soils, detailed the microbial metabolisms driving this demand, and evaluated how these finding relate to reductive dechlorination. I determined which reactions dominated at a contaminated site with mixed geochemistry treated with EK-Bio and compared it to traditional bioaugmentation. Lastly, I assessed the effect of EK-Bio on the microbial community at a field-scale site. Results showed the H2 consuming capacity of soils was greater than that predicted by initial measurements of inorganic electron acceptors and primarily driven by carbon-based microbial metabolisms. Other work demonstrated that, given the benefits of some carbon-based metabolisms to microbial reductive dechlorination, high levels of H2 consumption in soils are not necessarily indicative of hostile conditions for Dehalococcoides. Bench-scale experiments of EK-Bio under mixed geochemical conditions showed EK-Bio out-performed traditional bioaugmentation by facilitating biotic and abiotic transformations. Finally, results of microbial community analysis at a field-scale implementation of EK-Bio showed that while there were significant changes in alpha and beta diversity, the impact of EK-Bio on native microbial communities was minimal.

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Date Created
2020