Matching Items (15)

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TiO2 nanomaterials: human exposure and environmental release

Description

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanomaterial use is becoming more prevalent as is the likelihood of human exposure and environmental release. The goal of this thesis is to develop analytical techniques to

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanomaterial use is becoming more prevalent as is the likelihood of human exposure and environmental release. The goal of this thesis is to develop analytical techniques to quantify the level of TiO2 in complex matrices to support environmental, health, and safety research of TiO2 nanomaterials. A pharmacokinetic model showed that the inhalation of TiO2 nanomaterials caused the highest amount to be absorbed and distributed throughout the body. Smaller nanomaterials (< 5nm) accumulated in the kidneys before clearance. Nanoparticles of 25 nm diameter accumulated in the liver and spleen and were cleared from the body slower than smaller nanomaterials. A digestion method using nitric acid, hydrofluoric acid, and hydrogen peroxide was found to digest organic materials and TiO2 with a recovery of >80%. The samples were measured by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and the method detection limit was 600 ng of Ti. An intratracheal instillation study of TiO2 nanomaterials in rats found anatase TiO2 nanoparticles in the caudal lung lobe of rats 1 day post instillation at a concentration of 1.2 ug/mg dry tissue, the highest deposition rate of any TiO2 nanomaterial. For all TiO2 nanomaterial morphologies the concentrations in the caudal lobes were significantly higher than those in the cranial lobes. In a study of TiO2 concentration in food products, white colored foods or foods with a hard outer shell had higher concentrations of TiO2. Hostess Powdered Donettes were found to have the highest Ti mass per serving with 200 mg Ti. As much as 3.8% of the total TiO2 mass was able to pass through a 0.45 um indicating that some of the TiO2 is likely nanosized. In a study of TiO2 concentrations in personal care products and paints, the concentration of TiO2 was as high as 117 ug/mg in Benjamin Moore white paint and 70 ug/mg in a Neutrogena sunscreen. Greater than 6% of Ti in one sunscreen was able to pass through a 0.45 um filter. The nanosized TiO2 in food products and personal care products may release as much as 16 mg of nanosized TiO2 per individual per day to wastewater.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Hexavalent chromium removal using ultraviolet photocatalytic reactor

Description

Hexavalant chromium (Cr(VI)) poses an emerging concern in drinking water treatment with stricter regulations on the horizon. Photocatalytic reduction of Cr(VI) was investigated as an engineering scale option to remove

Hexavalant chromium (Cr(VI)) poses an emerging concern in drinking water treatment with stricter regulations on the horizon. Photocatalytic reduction of Cr(VI) was investigated as an engineering scale option to remove hexavalent chromium from drinking or industrial waters via a UV/titanium dioxide (TiO2) process. Using an integrated UV lamp/ceramic membrane system to recirculate TiO2, both hexavalent and total chromium levels were reduced through photocatalytic processes without additional chemicals. Cr(VI) removal increased as a function of higher energy input and TiO2 dosage, achieving above 90% removal for a 1g/L dose of TiO2. Surface analysis of effluent TiO2 confirmed the presence of chromium species.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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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

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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Exploring microbial chain elongation for production of organics and hydrogen in soils

Description

This research explores microbial chain elongation as a pathway for production of complex organic compounds in soils with implication for the carbon cycle. In chain elongation, simple substrates such as

This research explores microbial chain elongation as a pathway for production of complex organic compounds in soils with implication for the carbon cycle. In chain elongation, simple substrates such as ethanol and short chain carboxylates such as acetate can be converted to longer carbon chain carboxylates under anaerobic conditions through cyclic, reverse β oxidation. This pathway elongates the carboxylate by two carbons. The chain elongation process is overall thermodynamically feasible, and microorganisms gain energy through this process. There have been limited insights into the versatility of chain elongating substrates, understanding the chain elongating microbial community, and its importance in sequestering carbon in the soils.

We used ethanol, methanol, butanol, and hydrogen as electron donors and acetate and propionate as electron acceptors to test the occurrence of microbial chain elongation in four soils with different physicochemical properties and microbial communities. Common chain elongation products were the even numbered chains butyrate, caproate, and butanol, the odd numbered carboxylates valerate and heptanoate, along with molecular hydrogen. At a near neutral pH and mesophilic temperature, we observed a stable and sustained production of longer fatty acids along with hydrogen. Microbial community analysis show phylotypes from families such as Clostridiaceae, Bacillaceae, and Ruminococcaceae in all tested conditions. Through chain elongation, the products formed are less biodegradable. They may undergo transformations and end up as organic carbon, decreasing the greenhouse gas emissions, thus, making this process important to study.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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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.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Impacts of Carbon Nanoparticles on Nutrient Uptake, Leaching, and Yield of Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)

Description

Nitrate contamination to groundwater and surface water is a serious problem in areas with high agricultural production due to over application of fertilizers. There is a need for alternative technologies

Nitrate contamination to groundwater and surface water is a serious problem in areas with high agricultural production due to over application of fertilizers. There is a need for alternative technologies to reduce nutrient runoff without compromising yield. Carbon nanoparticles have adsorptive properties and have shown to improve germination and yield of a variety of crops. Graphite nanoparticles (CNP) were studied under a variety of different fertilizer conditions to grow lettuce for the three seasons of summer, fall, and winter. The aim of this thesis was to quantify the effect of CNPs on nitrate leaching and lettuce growth. This was accomplished by measuring the lettuce leaf yield, formulating a nutrient balance using the leachate, plant tissue, and soil data, and changing the hydraulic conductivity of the soil to assess the effect on nutrient mobility. summer and fall experiments used Arizona soil with different amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) fertilizer being applied to the soil with and without CNPs. The winter experiments used three different soil blends of Arizona soil, Arizona soil blended with 30% sand, and Arizona soil blended with 70% sand with a constant fertilizer treatment of 30% NPK with and without CNPs. The results showed that the 70% NPK with CNP treatment was best at reducing the amount of nitrate leached while having little to no compromise in yield. The winter experiments showed that the effectiveness of CNPs in reducing nitrate leaching and enhancing yield, improved with the higher the hydraulic conductivity of the soil.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Applying ozone to accelerate remediation of petroleum-contaminated soils

Description

Petroleum contamination is ubiquitous during extraction, transportation, refining, and storage. Contamination damages the soil’s ecosystem function, reduces its aesthetics, and poses a potential threat to human beings. The

Petroleum contamination is ubiquitous during extraction, transportation, refining, and storage. Contamination damages the soil’s ecosystem function, reduces its aesthetics, and poses a potential threat to human beings. The overall goals of this dissertation are to advance understanding of the mechanisms behind ozonation of petroleum-contaminated soil and to configure an effective integrated bioremediation + ozonation remedial strategy to remove the overall organic carbon. Using a soil column, I conducted batch ozonation experiments for different soils and at different moisture levels. I measured multiple parameters: e.g., total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC), to build a full understanding of the data that led to the solid conclusions. I first demonstrated the feasibility of using ozone to attack heavy petroleum hydrocarbons in soil settings. I identified the physical and chemical hurdles (e.g., moisture, mass transfer, pH) needed to be overcome to make the integration of chemical oxidation and biodegradation more efficient and defines the mechanisms behind the experimental observations. Next, I completed a total carbon balance, which revealed that multiple components, including soil organic matter (SOM) and non-TPH petroleum, competed for ozone, although TPH was relatively more reactive. Further experiments showed that poor soil mixing and high soil-moisture content hindered mass transfer of ozone to react with the TPH. Finally, I pursued the theme of optimizing the integration of ozonation and biodegradation through a multi-stage strategy. I conducted multi-stages of ozonation and bioremediation for two benchmark soils with distinctly different oils to test if and how much ozonation enhanced biodegradation and vice versa. With pH and moisture optimized for each step, pre-ozonation versus post-ozonation was assessed for TPH removal and mineralization. Multi-cycle treatment was able to achieve the TPH regulatory standard when biodegradation alone could not. Ozonation did not directly enhance the biodegradation rate of TPH; instead, ozone converted TPH into DOC that was biodegraded and mineralized. The major take-home lesson from my studies is that multi-stage ozonation + biodegradation is a useful remediation tool for petroleum contamination in soil.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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

Description

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

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

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Fate of engineered nanomaterials in wastewater treatment plants

Description

As the use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in consumer products becomes more common, the amount of ENMs entering wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) increases. Investigating the fate of ENMs in WWTPs

As the use of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) in consumer products becomes more common, the amount of ENMs entering wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) increases. Investigating the fate of ENMs in WWTPs is critical for risk assessment and pollution control. The objectives of this dissertation were to (1) quantify and characterize titanium (Ti) in full-scale wastewater treatment plants, (2) quantify sorption of different ENMs to wastewater biomass in laboratory-scale batch reactors, (3) evaluate the use of a standard, soluble-pollutant sorption test method for quantifying ENM interaction with wastewater biomass, and (4) develop a mechanistic model of a biological wastewater treatment reactor to serve as the basis for modeling nanomaterial fate in WWTPs. Using titanium (Ti) as a model material for the fate of ENMs in WWTPs, Ti concentrations were measured in 10 municipal WWTPs. Ti concentrations in pant influent ranged from 181 to 3000 µg/L, and more than 96% of Ti was removed, with effluent Ti concentrations being less than 25 µg/L. Ti removed from wastewater accumulated in solids at concentrations ranging from 1 to 6 µg Ti/mg solids. Using transmission electron microscopy, spherical titanium oxide nanoparticles with diameters ranging from 4 to 30 nm were found in WWTP effluents, evidence that some nanoscale particles will pass through WWTPs and enter aquatic systems. Batch experiments were conducted to quantify sorption of different ENM types to activated sludge. Percentages of sorption to 400 mg TSS/L biomass ranged from about 10 to 90%, depending on the ENM material and functionalization. Natural organic matter, surfactants, and proteins had a stabilizing effect on most of the ENMs tested. The United States Environmental Protection Agency's standard sorption testing method (OPPTS 835.1110) used for soluble compounds was found to be inapplicable to ENMs, as freeze-dried activated sludge transforms ENMs into stable particles in suspension. In conjunction with experiments, we created a mechanistic model of the microbiological processes in membrane bioreactors to predict MBR, extended and modified this model to predict the fate of soluble micropollutants, and then discussed how the micropollutant fate model could be used to predict the fate of nanomaterials in wastewater treatment plants.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Removal of hexavalent chromium from groundwater using stannous chloride reductive treatment

Description

Mineral weathering and industrial activities cause elevated concentration of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) in groundwater, and this poses potential health concern (>10 ppb) to southwestern USA. The conversion of Cr(VI) to

Mineral weathering and industrial activities cause elevated concentration of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) in groundwater, and this poses potential health concern (>10 ppb) to southwestern USA. The conversion of Cr(VI) to Cr(III) – a fairly soluble and non-toxic form at typical pH of groundwater is an effective method to control the mobility and carcinogenic effects of Cr(VI). In-situ chemical reduction using SnCl2 was investigated to initiate this redox process using jar testing with buffered ultrapure water and native Arizona groundwater spiked with varying Cr(VI) concentrations. Cr(VI) transformation by SnCl2 is super rapid (<60 seconds) and depends upon the molar dosage of Sn(II) to Cr(VI). Cr(VI) removal improved significantly at higher pH while was independent on Cr(VI) initial concentration and dissolved oxygen (DO) level. Co-existing oxyanions (As and W) competed with Cr(VI) for SnCl2 oxidation and adsorption sites of formed precipitates, thus resulted in lower Cr(VI) removal in the challenge water. SnCl2 reagent grade and commercial grade behaved similarly when freshly prepared, but the reducing strength of the commercial product decreased by 50% over a week after exposing to atmosphere. Equilibrium modeling with Visual MINTEQ suggested redox potential < 400 mV to reach Cr(VI) treatment goal of 10 ppb. Kinetics of Cr(VI) reduction was simulated via the rate expression: r=-k[H+]-0.25[Sn2+]0.5[Cr2O72-]3 with k = 0.146 uM-2.25s-1, which correlated consistently with experimental data under different pH and SnCl2 doses. These results proved SnCl2 reductive treatment is a simple and highly effective method to treat Cr(VI) in groundwater.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019