Matching Items (7)

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The Stimulation of a Ureolytic Denitrifying Microbial Community for Microbially Induced Carbonate Precipitation

Description

This dissertation investigates the potential for stimulating ureolytic and denitrifying microbes concurrently (i.e., stimulating a ureolytic, denitrifying microbial community) for a more efficient microbially induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) process. Three

This dissertation investigates the potential for stimulating ureolytic and denitrifying microbes concurrently (i.e., stimulating a ureolytic, denitrifying microbial community) for a more efficient microbially induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) process. Three sand columns were run for a treatment period of six weeks with a continuous flow of nutrient solution containing calcium nitrate, calcium acetate, calcium chloride, magnesium sulfate, tryptic soy broth and trace metals. The first and third columns served as control columns, within which only denitrification processes were at work. The first column was used for periodic sampling to measure the pH, ion concentrations, and total nitrogen over time. The third column was used to measure compressional (P-) and shear (S-) wave velocities to monitor cementation and desaturation over time. The second column was subject to initial conditions identical to the other two columns except that urea was added to the nutrient solution to stimulate ureolysis and was also subject to sampling. This was done to determine whether the use of the combined MICP processes resulted in increased efficiency of precipitation. Results from ion chromatography analysis, acid digestion and scanning electron microscope imaging did not show an increase in the amount of carbonate precipitated for the second column, possibly due to nitrite inhibition and abiotic hydrolysis of the urea from sterilization of the nutrient solution through autoclaving. However, the stimulation of denitrification and ureolysis in combination was achieved, and the amount of carbonate precipitation per mol of nitrate reduced increased, which in a sense increased the efficiency of the system. Ultimately, more experimentation is needed to determine if this combination is beneficial for MICP.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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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,

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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Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Carbonate mineral precipitation for soil improvement through microbial denitrification

Description

Microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) is attracting increasing attention as a sustainable means of soil improvement. While there are several possible MICP mechanisms, microbial denitrification has the potential to

Microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) is attracting increasing attention as a sustainable means of soil improvement. While there are several possible MICP mechanisms, microbial denitrification has the potential to become one of the preferred methods for MICP because complete denitrification does not produce toxic byproducts, readily occurs under anoxic conditions, and potentially has a greater carbonate yield per mole of organic electron donor than other MICP processes. Denitrification may be preferable to ureolytic hydrolysis, the MICP process explored most extensively to date, as the byproduct of denitrification is benign nitrogen gas, while the chemical pathways involved in hydrolytic ureolysis processes produce undesirable and potentially toxic byproducts such as ammonium (NH4+). This thesis focuses on bacterial denitrification and presents preliminary results of bench-scale laboratory experiments on denitrification as a candidate calcium carbonate precipitation mechanism. The bench-scale bioreactor and column tests, conducted using the facultative anaerobic bacterium Pseudomonas denitrificans, show that calcite can be precipitated from calcium-rich pore water using denitrification. Experiments also explore the potential for reducing environmental impacts and lowering costs associated with denitrification by reducing the total dissolved solids in the reactors and columns, optimizing the chemical matrix, and addressing the loss of free calcium in the form of calcium phosphate precipitate from the pore fluid. The potential for using MICP to sequester radionuclides and metal contaminants that are migrating in groundwater is also investigated. In the sequestration process, divalent cations and radionuclides are incorporated into the calcite structure via substitution, forming low-strontium calcium carbonate minerals that resist dissolution at a level similar to that of calcite. Work by others using the bacterium Sporosarcina pasteurii has suggested that in-situ sequestration of radionuclides and metal contaminants can be achieved through MICP via hydrolytic ureolysis. MICP through bacterial denitrification seems particularly promising as a means for sequestering radionuclides and metal contaminants in anoxic environments due to the anaerobic nature of the process and the ubiquity of denitrifying bacteria in the subsurface.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Denitrification in accidental urban wetlands: exploring the roles of water flows and plant patches

Description

Cities can be sources of nitrate to downstream ecosystems resulting in eutrophication, harmful algal blooms, and hypoxia that can have negative impacts on economies and human health. One potential solution

Cities can be sources of nitrate to downstream ecosystems resulting in eutrophication, harmful algal blooms, and hypoxia that can have negative impacts on economies and human health. One potential solution to this problem is to increase nitrate removal in cities by providing locations where denitrification¬— a microbial process in which nitrate is reduced to N2 gas permanently removing nitrate from systems— can occur. Accidental urban wetlands– wetlands that results from human activities, but are not designed or managed for any specific outcome¬– are one such feature in the urban landscape that could help mitigate nitrate pollution through denitrification.

The overarching question of this dissertation is: how do hydrology, soil conditions, and plant patches affect patterns of denitrification in accidental urban wetlands? To answer this question, I took a three-pronged approach using a combination of field and greenhouse studies. First, I examined drivers of broad patterns of denitrification in accidental urban wetlands. Second, I used a field study to test if plant traits influence denitrification indirectly by modifying soil resources. Finally, I examined how species richness and interactions between species influence nitrate retention and patterns of denitrification using both a field study and greenhouse experiment.

Hydroperiod of accidental urban wetlands mediated patterns of denitrification in response to monsoon floods and plant patches. Specifically, ephemeral wetlands had patterns of denitrification that were largely unexplained by monsoon floods or plant patches, which are common drivers of patterns of denitrification in non-urban wetlands. Several plant traits including belowground biomass, above- and belowground tissue chemistry and rooting depth influenced denitrification indirectly by changing soil organic matter or soil nitrate. However, several other plant traits also had significant direct relationships with denitrification, (i.e. not through the hypothesized indirect relationships through soil organic matter or soil nitrate). This means these plant traits were affecting another aspect of soil conditions not included in the analysis, highlighting the need to improve our understanding of how plant traits influence denitrification. Finally, increasing species richness did not increase nitrate retention or denitrification, but rather individual species had the greatest effects on nitrate retention and denitrification.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

Use of Biogenic Gas Production as a Pre-Treatment to Improve the Efficiency of Dynamic Compaction in Saturated Silty Sand.

Description

One of the most economical and viable methods of soil improvement is dynamic compaction. It is a simple process that uses the potential energy of a weight (8 tonne to

One of the most economical and viable methods of soil improvement is dynamic compaction. It is a simple process that uses the potential energy of a weight (8 tonne to 36 tonne) dropped from a height of about 1 m to 30 m, depending on the project requirement, on to the soil to be compacted hence densifying it. However, dynamic compaction can only be applied on soil deposits where the degree of saturation is low and the permeability of the soil mass is high to allow for good drainage. Using dynamic compaction on saturated soil is unsuitable because upon application of the energy, a part of the energy is transferred to the pore water. The technique also does not work very well on soils having a large content of fines because of the absence of good drainage. The current research aims to develop a new technology using biogenic gas production to desaturate saturated soils and extend the use of dynamic compaction as a ground improvement technique to saturated soils with higher fines content. To evaluate the feasibility of this technology an experimental program has been performed. Soil columns with varying soil types have been saturated with substrate solution, resulting in the formation of nitrogen gas and the change in soils volume and saturation have been recorded. Cyclic triaxial tests have been performed to evaluate the change in volume and saturation under elevated pressure conditions and evaluate the response of the desaturated soil specimens to dynamic loading. The experimental results showed that soil specimens treated with MIDP under low confinement conditions undergo substantial volume expansion. The amount of expansion is seen to be a factor of their pore size, which is directly related to their grain size. The smaller the grain size, smaller is the pore size and hence greater the volume expansion. Under higher confining pressure conditions, the expansion during gas formation is suppressed. However, no conclusive result about the effect of the desaturation of the soil using biogenic gas on its compactibility could be obtained from the cyclic triaxial tests.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Mitigation of earthquake-induced soil liquefaction via microbial denitrification: a two-stage process

Description

The dissimilatory reduction of nitrate, or denitrification, offers the potential of a sustainable, cost effective method for the non-disruptive mitigation of earthquake-induced soil liquefaction. Worldwide, trillions of dollars of

The dissimilatory reduction of nitrate, or denitrification, offers the potential of a sustainable, cost effective method for the non-disruptive mitigation of earthquake-induced soil liquefaction. Worldwide, trillions of dollars of infrastructure are at risk for liquefaction damage in earthquake prone regions. However, most techniques for remediating liquefiable soils are either not applicable to sites near existing infrastructure, or are prohibitively expensive. Recently, laboratory studies have shown the potential for biogeotechnical soil improvement techniques such as microbially induced carbonate precipitation (MICP) to mitigate liquefaction potential in a non-disruptive manner. Multiple microbial processes have been identified for MICP, but only two have been extensively studied. Ureolysis, the most commonly studied process for MICP, has been shown to quickly and efficiently induce carbonate precipitation on particle surfaces and at particle contacts to improve the stiffness, strength, and dilatant behavior of liquefiable soils. However, ureolysis also produces copious amounts of ammonium, a potentially toxic byproduct. The second process studied for MICP, denitrification, has been shown to precipitate carbonate, and hence improve soil properties, much more slowly than ureolysis. However, the byproducts of denitrification, nitrogen and carbon dioxide gas, are non-toxic, and present the added benefit of rapidly desaturating the treated soil. Small amounts of desaturation have been shown to increase the cyclic resistance, and hence the liquefaction resistance, of liquefiable soils. So, denitrification offers the potential to mitigate liquefaction as a two-stage process, with desaturation providing short term mitigation, and MICP providing long term liquefaction resistance. This study presents the results of soil testing, stoichiometric modeling, and microbial ecology characterization to better characterize the potential use of denitrification as a two-stage process for liquefaction mitigation.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Denitrification and greenhouse gas dynamics in lakes receiving atmospheric nitrogen deposition

Description

The global transport and deposition of anthropogenic nitrogen (N) to downwind ecosystems are significant and continue to increase. Indeed, atmospheric deposition can be a significant source of N to many

The global transport and deposition of anthropogenic nitrogen (N) to downwind ecosystems are significant and continue to increase. Indeed, atmospheric deposition can be a significant source of N to many watersheds, including those in remote, unpopulated areas. Bacterial denitrification in lake sediments may ameliorate the effects of N loading by converting nitrate (NO3-) to N2 gas. Denitrification also produces nitrous oxide (N2O), a potent greenhouse gas. The ecological effects of atmospheric N inputs in terrestrial ecosystems and the pelagic zone of lakes have been well documented; however, similar research in lake sediments is lacking. This project investigates the effects N of deposition on denitrification and N2O production in lakes. Atmospheric N inputs might alter the availability of NO3- and other key resources to denitrifiers. Such altered resources could influence denitrification, N2O production, and the abundance of denitrifying bacteria in sediments. The research contrasts these responses in lakes at the ends of gradients of N deposition in Colorado and Norway. Rates of denitrification and N2O production were elevated in the sediments of lakes subject to anthropogenic N inputs. There was no evidence, however, that N deposition has altered sediment resources or the abundance of denitrifiers. Further investigation into the dynamics of nitric oxide, N2O, and N2 during denitrification found no difference between deposition regions. Regardless of atmospheric N inputs, sediments from lakes in both Norway and Colorado possess considerable capacity to remove NO3- by denitrification. Catchment-specific properties may influence the denitrifying community more strongly than the rate of atmospheric N loading. In this regard, sediments appear to be insulated from the effects of N deposition compared to the water column. Lastly, surface water N2O concentrations were greater in high-deposition lakes compared to low-deposition lakes. To understand the potential magnitude of deposition-induced N2O production, the greenhouse gas inventory methodology of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was applied to available datasets. Estimated emissions from lakes are 7-371 Gg N y-1, suggesting that lakes could be an important source of N2O.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2010