Matching Items (5)

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Ecological interactions among nitrate-, perchlorate-, and sulfate-reducing bacteria in hydrogen-fed biofilm reactors

Description

Water contamination with nitrate (NO3−) (from fertilizers) and perchlorate (ClO4−) (from rocket fuel and explosives) is a widespread environmental problem. I employed the Membrane Biofilm Reactor (MBfR), a novel bioremediation technology, to treat NO3− and ClO4− in the presence of

Water contamination with nitrate (NO3−) (from fertilizers) and perchlorate (ClO4−) (from rocket fuel and explosives) is a widespread environmental problem. I employed the Membrane Biofilm Reactor (MBfR), a novel bioremediation technology, to treat NO3− and ClO4− in the presence of naturally occurring sulfate (SO42−). In the MBfR, bacteria reduce oxidized pollutants that act as electron acceptors, and they grow as a biofilm on the outer surface of gas-transfer membranes that deliver the electron donor (hydrogen gas, (H2). The overarching objective of my research was to achieve a comprehensive understanding of ecological interactions among key microbial members in the MBfR when treating polluted water with NO3− and ClO4− in the presence of SO42−. First, I characterized competition and co-existence between denitrifying bacteria (DB) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) when the loading of either the electron donor or electron acceptor was varied. Then, I assessed the microbial community structure of biofilms mostly populated by DB and SRB, linking structure with function based on the electron-donor bioavailability and electron-acceptor loading. Next, I introduced ClO4− as a second oxidized contaminant and discovered that SRB harm the performance of perchlorate-reducing bacteria (PRB) when the aim is complete ClO4− destruction from a highly contaminated groundwater. SRB competed too successfully for H2 and space in the biofilm, forcing the PRB to unfavorable zones in the biofilm. To better control SRB, I tested a two-stage MBfR for total ClO4− removal from a groundwater highly contaminated with ClO4−. I document successful remediation of ClO4− after controlling SO4 2− reduction by restricting electron-donor availability and increasing the acceptor loading to the second stage reactor. Finally, I evaluated the performance of a two-stage pilot MBfR treating water polluted with NO3− and ClO4−, and I provided a holistic understanding of the microbial community structure and diversity. In summary, the microbial community structure in the MBfR contributes to and can be used to explain/predict successful or failed water bioremediation. Based on this understanding, I developed means to manage the microbial community to achieve desired water-decontamination results. This research shows the benefits of looking "inside the box" for "improving the box".

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Date Created
2014

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Biofilm reduction of oxidized contaminants

Description

The overall goal of this dissertation is to advance understanding of biofilm reduction of oxidized contaminants in water and wastewater. Chapter 1 introduces the fundamentals of biological reduction of three oxidized contaminants (nitrate, perchlorate, and trichloriethene (TCE)) using two biofilm

The overall goal of this dissertation is to advance understanding of biofilm reduction of oxidized contaminants in water and wastewater. Chapter 1 introduces the fundamentals of biological reduction of three oxidized contaminants (nitrate, perchlorate, and trichloriethene (TCE)) using two biofilm processes (hydrogen-based membrane biofilm reactors (MBfR) and packed-bed heterotrophic reactors (PBHR)), and it identifies the research objectives. Chapters 2 through 6 focus on nitrate removal using the MBfR and PBHR, while chapters 7 through 10 investigate simultaneous reduction of nitrate and another oxidized compound (perchlorate, sulfate, or TCE) in the MBfR. Chapter 11 summarizes the major findings of this research. Chapters 2 and 3 demonstrate nitrate removal in a groundwater and identify the maximum nitrate loadings using a pilot-scale MBfR and a pilot-scale PBHR, respectively. Chapter 4 compares the MBfR and the PBHR for denitrification of the same nitrate-contaminated groundwater. The comparison includes the maximum nitrate loading, the effluent water quality of the denitrification reactors, and the impact of post-treatment on water quality. Chapter 5 theoretically and experimentally demonstrates that the nitrate biomass-carrier surface loading, rather than the traditionally used empty bed contact time or nitrate volumetric loading, is the primary design parameter for heterotrophic denitrification. Chapter 6 constructs a pH-control model to predict pH, alkalinity, and precipitation potential in heterotrophic or hydrogen-based autotrophic denitrification reactors. Chapter 7 develops and uses steady-state permeation tests and a mathematical model to determine the hydrogen-permeation coefficients of three fibers commonly used in the MBfR. The coefficients are then used as inputs for the three models in Chapters 8-10. Chapter 8 develops a multispecies biofilm model for simultaneous reduction of nitrate and perchlorate in the MBfR. The model quantitatively and systematically explains how operating conditions affect nitrate and perchlorate reduction and biomass distribution via four mechanisms. Chapter 9 modifies the nitrate and perchlorate model into a nitrate and sulfate model and uses it to identify operating conditions corresponding to onset of sulfate reduction. Chapter 10 modifies the nitrate and perchlorate model into a nitrate and TCE model and uses it to investigate how operating conditions affect TCE reduction and accumulation of TCE reduction intermediates.

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Date Created
2012

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Treating energetics-contaminated wastewater

Description

This study reports on the treatment of ammunition wastewater containing RDX (1,3,5-Trinitro-1,3,5-triazinane), HMX (1,3,5,7-Tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazoctane), and the oxyanion co-contaminants nitrate (NO3-) and perchlorate (ClO4-) in a membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR), a Palladium (Pd)-coated MBfR (Pd-MBfR), and an abiotic Pd-coated film reactor

This study reports on the treatment of ammunition wastewater containing RDX (1,3,5-Trinitro-1,3,5-triazinane), HMX (1,3,5,7-Tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazoctane), and the oxyanion co-contaminants nitrate (NO3-) and perchlorate (ClO4-) in a membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR), a Palladium (Pd)-coated MBfR (Pd-MBfR), and an abiotic Pd-coated film reactor (Pd-film reactor). A consortium of nitrate- and perchlorate-reducing bacteria, continuously fed with synesthetic ammunition wastewater featuring 4 mM nitrate and 0.1-2 mM perchlorate, formed robust biofilms on the membrane surfaces in the MBfR and Pd-MBfR. PdNPs with diameter 4-5-nm auto-assembled and stabilized on the surfaces of membrane and biofilm in MPfR and Pd-MBfR. Nitrate and perchlorate were rapidly reduced by the biofilms in the MBfR and Pd-MBfR, but they were not catalytically reduced through PdNPs alone in the MPfR. In contrast, RDX or HMX was recalcitrant to enzymatic degradation in MBfR, but was rapidly reduced through Pd-catalytic denitration in the MPfR and Pd-MBfR to form ‒N‒NHOH or ‒N‒H. Based on the experimental results, the synergistic coupling of Pd-based catalysis and microbial activity in the Pd-MBfR should be a viable new technology for treating ammunition wastewater.

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Created

Date Created
2019

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Trade-offs in utilizing of zero-valent iron for synergistic biotic and abiotic reduction of trichloroethene and perchlorate in soil and groundwater

Description

The advantages and challenges of combining zero-valent iron (ZVI) and microbial reduction of trichloroethene (TCE) and perchlorate (ClO4-) in contaminated soil and groundwater are not well understood. The objective of this work was to identify the benefits and limitations of

The advantages and challenges of combining zero-valent iron (ZVI) and microbial reduction of trichloroethene (TCE) and perchlorate (ClO4-) in contaminated soil and groundwater are not well understood. The objective of this work was to identify the benefits and limitations of simultaneous application of ZVI and bioaugmentation for detoxification of TCE and ClO4- using conditions relevant to a specific contaminated site. We studied conditions representing a ZVI-injection zone and a downstream zone influenced Fe (II) produced, for simultaneous ZVI and microbial reductive dechlorination applications using bench scale semi-batch microcosm experiments. 16.5 g L-1 ZVI effectively reduced TCE to ethene and ethane but ClO4- was barely reduced. Microbial reductive dechlorination was limited by both ZVI as well as Fe (II) derived from oxidation of ZVI. In the case of TCE, rapid abiotic TCE reduction made the TCE unavailable for the dechlorinating bacteria. In the case of perchlorate, ZVI inhibited the indigenous perchlorate-reducing bacteria present in the soil and groundwater. Further, H2 generated by ZVI reactions stimulated competing microbial processes like sulfate reduction and methanogenesis. In the microcosms representing the ZVI downstream zone (Fe (II) only), we detected accumulation of cis-dichloroethene (cis-DCE) and vinyl chloride (VC) after 56 days. Some ethene also formed under these conditions. In the absence of ZVI or Fe (II), we detected complete TCE dechlorination to ethene and faster rates of ClO4- reduction. The results illustrate potential limitations of combining ZVI with microbial reduction of chlorinated compounds and show the potential that each technology has when applied separately.

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Date Created
2017

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Investigation of the Electrical Resistivity of a Perchlorate Oxidizer Based Electric Propellant Formulation

Description

In recent years, a new type of ionic salt based solid propellant, considered inert until the application of an electric current induces an electro-chemical reaction, has been under investigation due to its broad range of possible uses. However, while many

In recent years, a new type of ionic salt based solid propellant, considered inert until the application of an electric current induces an electro-chemical reaction, has been under investigation due to its broad range of possible uses. However, while many electric propellant formulations and applications have been explored over the years, a fundamental understanding of the operational mechanisms of this propellant is necessary in order to move forward with development and implementation of this technology. It has been suggested that the metallic additive included in the formulation studied during this investigation may be playing an additional, currently unknown role in the operation and performance of the propellant. This study was designed to examine variations of an electric propellant formulation with the purpose of investigating propellant bulk volume electrical resistivity in order to attempt to determine information regarding the fundamental science behind the operation of this material. Within a set of fractional factorial experiments, variations of the propellant material made with tungsten, copper, carbon black, and no additive were manufactured using three different particle size ranges and three different volume percentage particle loadings. Each of these formulations (a total of 21 samples and 189 specimens) were tested for quantitative electrical resistivity values at three different pulse generator input voltage values. The data gathered from these experiments suggests that this electric propellant formulation’s resistivity value does change based upon the included additive. The resulting data has also revealed a parabolic response behavior noticeable in the 2D and 3D additive loading percentage versus additive particle size visualizations, the lowest point of which, occurring at an approximately 2.3% additive loading percentage value, could be indicative of the effects of the percolation phenomena on this material. Finally, the investigation results have been loosely correlated to power consumption testing results from previous work that may indicate that it is possible to relate propellant electrical resistivity and operating requirements. Throughout this study, however, it is obvious based on the data gathered that more information is required to be certain of these conclusions and in order to fully understand how this technology can be controlled for future use.

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Date Created
2019