Matching Items (58)

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Utilization of Passive Samplers for Water Quality Monitoring of Hexavalent Chromium in Water Treatment Plants

Description

The current EPA regulation for total chromium in drinking water is the MCL standard of 0.1 milligrams per liter or 100 parts per billion (ppb) to avoid dermatological effects. With

The current EPA regulation for total chromium in drinking water is the MCL standard of 0.1 milligrams per liter or 100 parts per billion (ppb) to avoid dermatological effects. With a toxicology study released in 2008 by the Department of Health and Human Services noting that hexavalent chromium is carcinogenic, the EPA is currently reviewing this MCL standard. During this review, the EPA provides monitoring guidance that requires quarterly sampling of surface water for hexavalent chromium. However, these samples monitor the instant in time that they were taken, and do not account for varying concentrations that are time-dependent. This research seeks to develop a method for monitoring hexavalent chromium in water. Using ion exchange technology, passive samplers were developed and installed at the Chandler Water Treatment Plant for a week-long monitoring event. Results show that passive samplers using ion exchange technology provide an accurate assessment of the average concentration of total chromium within the water treatment plant's effluent with 90.3% recovery of Cr(VI) in SIR-100 resin and 62.6% recovery in SIR-700.

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  • 2014-05

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SILVER NANOPARTICLES: SYNTHESIS, SOLUBILITY, AND LEACHING OF COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS

Description

In recent years, products advertised to contain nanosilver have become increasingly popular; however, while companies often advertise for nanosilver products, little regulation occurs to verify that these products actually contain

In recent years, products advertised to contain nanosilver have become increasingly popular; however, while companies often advertise for nanosilver products, little regulation occurs to verify that these products actually contain silver nanoparticles. Furthermore, there currently exists much dispute regarding the safety and toxicity of silver nanoparticles. As more and more products incorporate nanosilver, the resolution of this dispute proves progressively important. The present study addressed these issues, with goals to synthesize silver nanoparticles, determine the solubility of the synthesized silver nanoparticles, and to evaluate leaching of nanosilver from commercially produced food storage containers. The silver nanoparticles were synthesized by a procedure devised by Leopold and Lendl, and subsequently evaluated for size and distribution by ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry), SEC (Size Exclusion Chromatography), and DLS (Dynamic Light Scattering). The results indicated an average particle size of approximately 85 nm and a relatively monodispersed solution with a polydispersity value of 0.1245. The solubility of the nanoparticles was then examined using a dialysis experiment; however, the results of the dialysis experiments were inconclusive due to an aggregation that occurred which prevented the silver from diffusing out of the dialysis tubing. Lastly, commercially produced food storage containers advertised to contain silver nanoparticles were examined. These containers were digested using microwave assisted digestion, and subsequently analyzed using ICP-MS. It was determined that the containers contained between 7 .5 and 27 ug of silver per gram of container, and that the silver was not distributed uniformly throughout the container. While ICP-MS indicated the presence of silver, SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy) failed to unambiguously identify silver nanoparticles in the container. The food storage containers were also examined for silver leaching under various conditions; it was found that the containers leached most greatly following exposure to an acidic solution and leached the least due to exposure to UV light. However, additional trials of the leaching experiments must be performed to validate the results obtained in these experiments.

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Date Created
  • 2012-05

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Low Removal of As (V) and Cr (VI) by POU Devices Until Enabled with Selective Ion Exchange Media

Description

Consumers purchase point-of-use (POU) devices to further improve the quality of water provided by the tap. As awareness increases of harmful contaminants, an emerging market of advanced POU with claims

Consumers purchase point-of-use (POU) devices to further improve the quality of water provided by the tap. As awareness increases of harmful contaminants, an emerging market of advanced POU with claims of removing beyond what a typical activated carbon filter is capable of, such as heavy metals. This research compares four commercially available pitcher filters; two that claim to remove arsenic and hexavalent chromium and two without such claims. Arsenate (As (V)) and hexavalent chromium (Cr (VI)) co-occur in natural geologic formations and are known to have harmful effects on humans when ingested. Pitcher filters Epic Water Filter and Aquagear had claims of removing both As (V) and Cr (VI) up to 99% with a capacity of nearly 200 gallons. In contrast, pitcher filters Brita and Pur had no claims for removal of As(V) and Cr(VI) with a 40-gallon lifespan. A series of experiments were conducted to first determine the efficiency of each filter, then to add the ability or improve removal of As(V) and Cr(VI) in one filter for future design implementations. Experiment 1 was conducted by treating 100 gallons of spiked tap water (50 ppb for As (V) and 100 ppb for Cr (VI)) with each filter. All four pitcher filters showed low performance, resulting in Pur with the lowest removal percentage of 2% and Aquagear with the highest percentage 16% for As (V). For Cr (VI) Pur performed the worst with a removal of 5% and Brita had the best performance of 15%. The functionality of Brita was improved by embedding a selective ion exchange media, which when nanotized successfully removed Cr (VI) in previous studies. The optimal mass of resin to add to the pitcher was experimentally determined as 18.9 grams through Experiment 2. Finally, Experiment 3 compared an alternative placement of the resin material using the same 18.9 grams. The performance in Experiment 3 was significantly worse than Experiment 2. The final recommendation for future design implementation was to add 18.9 grams of SIR-700 resin below the filter media for optimum performance. Overall, the results demonstrate the limited removal of As(V) and Cr(VI) by the four commercial pitcher filters and show that by adding selective ion exchange media, the POUs can be nano-enabled to effectively remove As(V) and Cr(VI) from water.

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Date Created
  • 2018-05

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Phosphorus recovery from microbial biofuel residual using microwave peroxide digestion and anion exchange

Description

Sustainable production of microalgae for biofuel requires efficient phosphorus (P) utilization, which is a limited resource and vital for global food security. This research tracks the fate of P through

Sustainable production of microalgae for biofuel requires efficient phosphorus (P) utilization, which is a limited resource and vital for global food security. This research tracks the fate of P through biofuel production and investigates P recovery from the biomass using the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Our results show that Synechocystis contained 1.4% P dry weight. After crude lipids were extracted (e.g., for biofuel processing), 92% of the intracellular P remained in the residual biomass, indicating phospholipids comprised only a small percentage of cellular P. We estimate a majority of the P is primarily associated with nucleic acids. Advanced oxidation using hydrogen peroxide and microwave heating released 92% of the cellular P into orthophosphate. We then recovered the orthophosphate from the digestion matrix using two different types of anion exchange resins. One resin impregnated with iron nanoparticles adsorbed 98% of the influent P through 20 bed volumes, but only released 23% during regeneration. A strong-base anion exchange resin adsorbed 87% of the influent P through 20 bed volumes and released 50% of it upon regeneration. This recovered P subsequently supported growth of Synechocystis. This proof-of-concept recovery process reduced P demand of biofuel microalgae by 54%.

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Date Created
  • 2015-03-01

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A Facile Method for Separating and Enriching Nano and Submicron Particles from Titanium Dioxide Found in Food and Pharmaceutical Products

Description

Recent studies indicate the presence of nano-scale titanium dioxide (TiO[subscript 2]) as an additive in human foodstuffs, but a practical protocol to isolate and separate nano-fractions from soluble foodstuffs as

Recent studies indicate the presence of nano-scale titanium dioxide (TiO[subscript 2]) as an additive in human foodstuffs, but a practical protocol to isolate and separate nano-fractions from soluble foodstuffs as a source of material remains elusive. As such, we developed a method for separating the nano and submicron fractions found in commercial-grade TiO[subscript 2] (E171) and E171 extracted from soluble foodstuffs and pharmaceutical products (e.g., chewing gum, pain reliever, and allergy medicine). Primary particle analysis of commercial-grade E171 indicated that 54% of particles were nano-sized (i.e., < 100 nm). Isolation and primary particle analysis of five consumer goods intended to be ingested revealed differences in the percent of nano-sized particles from 32%‒58%. Separation and enrichment of nano- and submicron-sized particles from commercial-grade E171 and E171 isolated from foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals was accomplished using rate-zonal centrifugation. Commercial-grade E171 was separated into nano- and submicron-enriched fractions consisting of a nano:submicron fraction of approximately 0.45:1 and 3.2:1, respectively. E171 extracted from gum had nano:submicron fractions of 1.4:1 and 0.19:1 for nano- and submicron-enriched, respectively. We show a difference in particle adhesion to the cell surface, which was found to be dependent on particle size and epithelial orientation. Finally, we provide evidence that E171 particles are not immediately cytotoxic to the Caco-2 human intestinal epithelium model. These data suggest that this separation method is appropriate for studies interested in isolating the nano-sized particle fraction taken directly from consumer products, in order to study separately the effects of nano and submicron particles.

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Date Created
  • 2016-10-31

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Characterization of carbonaceous aerosol over the north Atlantic Ocean

Description

Atmospheric particulate matter has a substantial impact on global climate due to its ability to absorb/scatter solar radiation and act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Yet, little is known about

Atmospheric particulate matter has a substantial impact on global climate due to its ability to absorb/scatter solar radiation and act as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Yet, little is known about marine aerosol, in particular, the carbonaceous fraction. In the present work, particulate matter was collected, using High Volume (HiVol) samplers, onto quartz fiber substrates during a series of research cruises on the Atlantic Ocean. Samples were collected on board the R/V Endeavor on West–East (March–April, 2006) and East–West (June–July, 2006) transects in the North Atlantic, as well as on the R/V Polarstern during a North–South (October–November, 2005) transect along the western coast of Europe and Africa. The aerosol total carbon (TC) concentrations for the West–East (Narragansett, RI, USA to Nice, France) and East–West (Heraklion, Crete, Greece to Narragansett, RI, USA) transects were generally low over the open ocean (0.36±0.14 μg C/m3) and increased as the ship approached coastal areas (2.18±1.37 μg C/m3), due to increased terrestrial/anthropogenic aerosol inputs. The TC for the North–South transect samples decreased in the southern hemisphere with the exception of samples collected near the 15th parallel where calculations indicate the air mass back trajectories originated from the continent. Seasonal variation in organic carbon (OC) was seen in the northern hemisphere open ocean samples with average values of 0.45 μg/m3 and 0.26 μg/m3 for spring and summer, respectively. These low summer time values are consistent with SeaWiFS satellite images that show decreasing chlorophyll a concentration (a proxy for phytoplankton biomass) in the summer. There is also a statistically significant (p<0.05) decline in surface water fluorescence in the summer. Moreover, examination of water–soluble organic carbon (WSOC) shows that the summer aerosol samples appear to have a higher fraction of the lower molecular weight material, indicating that the samples may be more oxidized (aged). The seasonal variation in aerosol content seen during the two 2006 cruises is evidence that a primary biological marine source is a significant contributor to the carbonaceous particulate in the marine atmosphere and is consistent with previous studies of clean marine air masses.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Arsenic Sorption by Iron Impregnated Biochar

Description

Much of Nepal lacks access to clean drinking water, and many water sources are contaminated with arsenic at concentrations above both World Health Organization and local Nepalese guidelines. While many

Much of Nepal lacks access to clean drinking water, and many water sources are contaminated with arsenic at concentrations above both World Health Organization and local Nepalese guidelines. While many water treatment technologies exist, it is necessary to identify those that are easily implementable in developing areas. One simple treatment that has gained popularity is biochar—a porous, carbon-based substance produced through pyrolysis of biomass in an oxygen-free environment. Arizona State University’s Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) has partnered with communities in Nepal in an attempt to increase biochar production in the area, as it has several valuable applications including water treatment. Biochar’s arsenic adsorption capability will be investigated in this project with the goal of using the biochar that Nepalese communities produce to remove water contaminants. It has been found in scientific literature that biochar is effective in removing heavy metal contaminants from water with the addition of iron through surface activation. Thus, the specific goal of this research was to compare the arsenic adsorption disparity between raw biochar and iron-impregnated biochar. It was hypothesized that after numerous bed volumes pass through a water treatment column, iron from the source water will accumulate on the surface of raw biochar, mimicking the intentionally iron-impregnated biochar and further increasing contaminant uptake. It is thus an additional goal of this project to compare biochar loaded with iron through an iron-spiked water column and biochar impregnated with iron through surface oxidation. For this investigation, the biochar was crushed and sieved to a size between 90 and 100 micrometers. Two samples were prepared: raw biochar and oxidized biochar. The oxidized biochar was impregnated with iron through surface oxidation with potassium permanganate and iron loading. Then, X-ray fluorescence was used to compare the composition of the oxidized biochar with its raw counterpart, indicating approximately 0.5% iron in the raw and 1% iron in the oxidized biochar. The biochar samples were then added to batches of arsenic-spiked water at iron to arsenic concentration ratios of 20 mg/L:1 mg/L and 50 mg/L:1 mg/L to determine adsorption efficiency. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analysis indicated an 86% removal of arsenic using a 50:1 ratio of iron to arsenic (1.25 g biochar required in 40 mL solution), and 75% removal with a 20:1 ratio (0.5 g biochar required in 40 mL solution). Additional samples were then inserted into a column process apparatus for further adsorption analysis. Again, ICP-MS analysis was performed and the results showed that while both raw and treated biochars were capable of adsorbing arsenic, they were exhausted after less than 70 bed volumes (234 mL), with raw biochar lasting 60 bed volumes (201 mL) and oxidized about 70 bed volumes (234 mL). Further research should be conducted to investigate more affordable and less laboratory-intensive processes to prepare biochar for water treatment.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Contaminants of emerging concern in U.S. sewage sludges and forecasting of associated ecological and human health risks using sewage epidemiology approaches

Description

Many manmade chemicals used in consumer products are ultimately washed down the drain and are collected in municipal sewers. Efficient chemical monitoring at wastewater treatment (WWT) plants thus may provide

Many manmade chemicals used in consumer products are ultimately washed down the drain and are collected in municipal sewers. Efficient chemical monitoring at wastewater treatment (WWT) plants thus may provide up-to-date information on chemical usage rates for epidemiological assessments. The objective of the present study was to extrapolate this concept, termed 'sewage epidemiology', to include municipal sewage sludge (MSS) in identifying and prioritizing contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). To test this the following specific aims were defined: i) to screen and identify CECs in nationally representative samples of MSS and to provide nationwide inventories of CECs in U.S. MSS; ii) to investigate the fate and persistence in MSS-amended soils, of sludge-borne hydrophobic CECs; and iii) to develop an analytical tool relying on contaminant levels in MSS as an indicator for identifying and prioritizing hydrophobic CECs. Chemicals that are primarily discharged to the sewage systems (alkylphenol surfactants) and widespread persistent organohalogen pollutants (perfluorochemicals and brominated flame retardants) were analyzed in nationally representative MSS samples. A meta-analysis showed that CECs contribute about 0.04-0.15% to the total dry mass of MSS, a mass equivalent of 2,700-7,900 metric tonnes of chemicals annually. An analysis of archived mesocoms from a sludge weathering study showed that 64 CECs persisted in MSS/soil mixtures over the course of the experiment, with half-lives ranging between 224 and >990 days; these results suggest an inherent persistence of CECs that accumulate in MSS. A comparison of the spectrum of chemicals (n=52) analyzed in nationally representative biological specimens from humans and MSS revealed 70% overlap. This observed co-occurrence of contaminants in both matrices suggests that MSS may serve as an indicator for ongoing human exposures and body burdens of pollutants in humans. In conclusion, I posit that this novel approach in sewage epidemiology may serve to pre-screen and prioritize the several thousands of known or suspected CECs to identify those that are most prone to pose a risk to human health and the environment.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Environmentally responsible use of nanomaterials for the photocatalytic reduction of nitrate in water

Description

Nitrate is the most prevalent water pollutant limiting the use of groundwater as a potable water source. The overarching goal of this dissertation was to leverage advances in nanotechnology to

Nitrate is the most prevalent water pollutant limiting the use of groundwater as a potable water source. The overarching goal of this dissertation was to leverage advances in nanotechnology to improve nitrate photocatalysis and transition treatment to the full-scale. The research objectives were to (1) examine commercial and synthesized photocatalysts, (2) determine the effect of water quality parameters (e.g., pH), (3) conduct responsible engineering by ensuring detection methods were in place for novel materials, and (4) develop a conceptual framework for designing nitrate-specific photocatalysts. The key issues for implementing photocatalysis for nitrate drinking water treatment were efficient nitrate removal at neutral pH and by-product selectivity toward nitrogen gases, rather than by-products that pose a human health concern (e.g., nitrite). Photocatalytic nitrate reduction was found to follow a series of proton-coupled electron transfers. The nitrate reduction rate was limited by the electron-hole recombination rate, and the addition of an electron donor (e.g., formate) was necessary to reduce the recombination rate and achieve efficient nitrate removal. Nano-sized photocatalysts with high surface areas mitigated the negative effects of competing aqueous anions. The key water quality parameter impacting by-product selectivity was pH. For pH < 4, the by-product selectivity was mostly N-gas with some NH4+, but this shifted to NO2- above pH = 4, which suggests the need for proton localization to move beyond NO2-. Co-catalysts that form a Schottky barrier, allowing for localization of electrons, were best for nitrate reduction. Silver was optimal in heterogeneous systems because of its ability to improve nitrate reduction activity and N-gas by-product selectivity, and graphene was optimal in two-electrode systems because of its ability to shuttle electrons to the working electrode. "Environmentally responsible use of nanomaterials" is to ensure that detection methods are in place for the nanomaterials tested. While methods exist for the metals and metal oxides examined, there are currently none for carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene. Acknowledging that risk assessment encompasses dose-response and exposure, new analytical methods were developed for extracting and detecting CNTs and graphene in complex organic environmental (e.g., urban air) and biological matrices (e.g. rat lungs).

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  • 2013

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Overcoming the impacts of extreme weather and dissolved organic matter on the treatability of water using ozone

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The influence of climate variability and reclaimed wastewater on the water supply necessitates improved understanding of the treatability of trace and bulk organic matter. Dissolved organic matter (DOM) mobilized during

The influence of climate variability and reclaimed wastewater on the water supply necessitates improved understanding of the treatability of trace and bulk organic matter. Dissolved organic matter (DOM) mobilized during extreme weather events and in treated wastewater includes natural organic matter (NOM), contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), and microbial extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). The goal of my dissertation was to quantify the impacts of extreme weather events on DOM in surface water and downstream treatment processes, and to improve membrane filtration efficiency and CECs oxidation efficiency during water reclamation with ozone. Surface water quality, air quality and hydrologic flow rate data were used to quantify changes in DOM and turbidity following dust storms, flooding, or runoff from wildfire burn areas in central Arizona. The subsequent impacts to treatment processes and public perception of water quality were also discussed. Findings showed a correlation between dust storm events and change in surface water turbidity (R2=0.6), attenuation of increased DOM through reservoir systems, a 30-40% increase in organic carbon and a 120-600% increase in turbidity following severe flooding, and differing impacts of upland and lowland wildfires. The use of ozone to reduce membrane fouling caused by vesicles (a subcomponent of EPS) and oxidize CECs through increased hydroxyl radical (HO●) production was investigated. An "ozone dose threshold" was observed above which addition of hydrogen peroxide increased HO● production; indicating the presence of ambient promoters in wastewater. Ozonation of CECs in secondary effluent over titanium dioxide or activated carbon did not increase radial production. Vesicles fouled ultrafiltration membranes faster (20 times greater flux decline) than polysaccharides, fatty acids, or NOM. Based upon the estimated carbon distribution of secondary effluent, vesicles could be responsible for 20-60% of fouling during ultrafiltration and may play a vital role in other environmental processes as well. Ozone reduced vesicle-caused membrane fouling that, in conjunction with the presence of ambient promoters, helps to explain why low ozone dosages improve membrane flux during full-scale water reclamation.

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Date Created
  • 2014