Matching Items (4)

147954-Thumbnail Image.png

Examining Biofouling on Pristine and Aged Microplastics Exposed to Tempe Town Lake Water

Description

This study investigated the difference in biofilm growth between pristine polypropylene microplastics and aged polypropylene microplastics. The microplastics were added to Tempe Town Lake water for 4 weeks. Each week

This study investigated the difference in biofilm growth between pristine polypropylene microplastics and aged polypropylene microplastics. The microplastics were added to Tempe Town Lake water for 4 weeks. Each week the microplastic biofilms were quantified. Comparing the total biofilm counts, the results showed that the aged microplastic biofilms were larger than the pristine each week. By week 3 the aged microplastic counts had almost doubled in size increasing from 324 to 626 Colony Forming Units per gram in just one week. There was a significant difference in the diversity found from week 1 to week 4. About 40% of the diversity for the pristine microplastic biofilm was seen as light-yellow dots and about 60% of these dots were seen on the aged microplastic biofilms in both weeks. As the microplastics were submerged in the lake water, new phenotypes emerged varying from week 1 to week 4 and from pristine to aged microplastic biofilms. Generally, it was found that as the microplastics stay in the environment there is more biofilm on the particles. The aged microplastics have a larger amount of biofouling, and the pristine microplastic biofilms were found to have more diversity of phenotypes.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

157964-Thumbnail Image.png

Passive and active surfaces to reduce fouling of membranes and membane modules

Description

This dissertation investigates the mechanisms that lead to fouling, as well as how an understanding of how these mechanisms can be leveraged to mitigate fouling.

To limit fouling on feed

This dissertation investigates the mechanisms that lead to fouling, as well as how an understanding of how these mechanisms can be leveraged to mitigate fouling.

To limit fouling on feed spacers, various coatings were applied. The results showed silver-coated biocidal spacers outperformed other spacers by all measures. The control polypropylene spacers performed in-line with, or better than, the other coatings. Polypropylene’s relative anti-adhesiveness is due to its surface free energy (SFE; 30.0 +/- 2.8 mN/m), which, according to previously generated models, is near the ideal SFE for resisting adhesion of bacteria and organics (~25 mN/m).

Previous research has indicated that electrochemical surfaces can be used to remove biofilms. To better elucidate the conditions and kinetics of biofilm removal, optical coherence tomography microscopy was used to visualize the biofouling and subsequent cleaning of the surface. The 50.0 mA cm-2 and 87.5 mA cm-2 current densities proved most effective in removing the biofilm. The 50.0 mA cm-2 condition offers the best balance between performance and energy use for anodic operation.

To test the potential to incorporate electrochemical coatings into infrastructure, membranes were coated with carbon nanotubes (CNTs), rendering the membranes electrochemically active. These membranes were biofouled and subsequently cleaned via electrochemical reactions. P. aeruginosa was given 72h to develop a biofilm on the CNT-coated membranes in a synthetic medium simulating desalination brines. Cathodic reactions, which generate H2 gas, produce vigorous bubbling at a current density of 12.5 mA cm-2 and higher, leading to a rapid and complete displacement of the biofilm from the CNT-functionalized membrane surface. In comparison, anodic reactions were unable to disperse the biofilms from the surface at similar current densities.

The scaling behavior of a nanophotonics-enabled solar membrane distillation (NESMD) system was investigated. The results showed the NESMD system to be resistant to scaling. The system operated without any decline in flux up to concentrations 6x higher than the initial salt concentration (8,439 mg/L), whereas in traditional membrane distillation (MD), flux essentially stopped at a salt concentration factor of 2x. Microscope and analytical analyses showed more fouling on the membranes from the MD system.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

156062-Thumbnail Image.png

Flux performance and silver leaching from in-situ synthesized silver nanoparticle treated reverse osmosis point of use membranes

Description

Drinking water filtration using reverse osmosis (RO) membranes effectively removes salts and most other inorganic, organic, and microbial pollutants. RO technologies are utilized at both the municipal and residential scale.

Drinking water filtration using reverse osmosis (RO) membranes effectively removes salts and most other inorganic, organic, and microbial pollutants. RO technologies are utilized at both the municipal and residential scale. The formation of biofilms on RO membranes reduces water flux and increases energy consumption. The research conducted for this thesis involves In-Situ coating of silver, a known biocide, on the surface of RO membranes. This research was adapted from a protocol developed for coating flat sheet membranes with silver nanoparticles, and scaled up into spiral-wound membranes that are commonly used at the residential scale in point-of-use (POU) filtration systems. Performance analyses of the silver-coated spiral-wound were conducted in a mobile drinking water treatment system fitted with two POU units for comparison. Five month-long analyses were performed, including a deployment of the mobile system. In addition to flux, salt rejection, and other water quality analyses, additional membrane characterization tests were conducted on pristine and silver-coated membranes.

For flat sheet membranes coated with silver, the surface charge remained negative and contact angle remained below 90. Scaling up to spiral-wound RO membrane configuration was successful, with an average silver-loading of 1.93 g-Ag/cm2. Results showed the flux of water through the membrane ranged from 8 to 13 liters/m2*hr. (LMH) operating at 25% recovery during long-term of operation. The flux was initially decreased due to the silver coating, but no statistically significant differences were observed after 14 days of operation (P < 0.05). The salt rejection was also not effected due to the silver coating (P < 0.05). While 98% of silver was released during long-term studies, the silver release from the spiral-wound membrane was consistently below the secondary MCL of 100 ppb established by the EPA, and was consistently below 5 ppb after two hours of operation. Microbial assays in the form of heterotrophic plate counts suggested there was no statistically significant difference in the prevention of biofouling formation due to the silver coating (P < 0.05). In addition to performance tests and membrane characterizations, a remote data acquisition system was configured to remotely monitor performance and water quality parameters in the mobile system.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

155833-Thumbnail Image.png

Separations of Biofuels and Bioproducts via Magnetic Mesoporous Carbons

Description

The aims of this project are to demonstrate the design and implementation of separations modalities for 1) in situ product recovery and 2) upstream pretreatment of toxic feedstocks. Many value-added

The aims of this project are to demonstrate the design and implementation of separations modalities for 1) in situ product recovery and 2) upstream pretreatment of toxic feedstocks. Many value-added bioproducts such as alcohols (ethanol and butanol) developed for the transportation sector are known to be integral to a sustainable future. Likewise, bioproduced aromatic building blocks for sustainable manufacturing such as phenol will be equally important. The production of these compounds is often limited by product toxicity at 2- 20 g/L, whereas it may desirable to produce 20-200 g/L for economically feasible scale up. While low-cost feedstocks are desirable for economical production, they contain highly cytotoxic value-added byproducts such as furfural. It is therefore desirable to design facile detoxification methods for lignocellulose-derived feedstocks to isolate and recover furfural preceding ethanol fermentation by Escherichia coli. Correspondingly it is desirable to design efficient facile in situ recovery modalities for bioalcohols and phenolic bioproducts. Accordingly, in-situ removal modalities were designed for simultaneous acetone, butanol, and ethanol recovery. Additionally, a furfural removal modality from lignocellulosic hydrolysates was designed for upstream pretreatment. Solid-liquid adsorption was found to serve well each of the recovery modalities characterized here. More hydrophobic compounds such as butanol and furfural are readily recovered from aqueous solutions via adsorption. The primary operational drawback to adsorption is adsorbent recovery and subsequent desorption of the product. Novel magnetically separable mesoporous carbon powders (MMCPs) were characterized and found to be rapidly separable from solutions at 91% recovery by mass. Thermal desorption of value added products was found efficient for recovery of butanol and furfural. Fufural was desorbed from the MMCPs up to 57% by mass with repeated adsorption/thermal desorption cycles. Butanol was recovered from MMCPs up to an average 93% by mass via thermal desorption. As another valuable renewable fermentation product, phenol was also collected via in-situ adsorption onto Dowex Optipore L-493 resin. Phenol recovery from the resins was efficiently accomplished with tert-butyl methyl ether up to 77% after 3 washes.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017