Matching Items (7)

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Comparison of four methods to assess silver release from nano impregnated reverse osmosis membranes

Description

With the application of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes in the wastewater treatment and seawater desalination, the limitation of flux and fouling problems of RO have gained more attention from researchers. Because of the tunable structure and physicochemical properties of nanomaterials,

With the application of reverse osmosis (RO) membranes in the wastewater treatment and seawater desalination, the limitation of flux and fouling problems of RO have gained more attention from researchers. Because of the tunable structure and physicochemical properties of nanomaterials, it is a suitable material that can be used to incorporate with RO to change the membrane performances. Silver is biocidal, which has been used in a variety of consumer products. Recent studies showed that fabricating silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on membrane surfaces can mitigate the biofouling problem on the membrane. Studies have shown that Ag released from the membrane in the form of either Ag ions or AgNP will accelerate the antimicrobial activity of the membrane. However, the silver release from the membrane will lower the silver loading on the membrane, which will eventually shorten the antimicrobial activity lifetime of the membrane. Therefore, the silver leaching amount is a crucial parameter that needs to be determined for every type of Ag composite membrane.

This study is attempting to compare four different silver leaching test methods, to study the silver leaching potential of the silver impregnated membranes, conducting the advantages and disadvantages of the leaching methods. An In-situ reduction Ag loaded RO membrane was examined in this study. A custom waterjet test was established to create a high-velocity water flow to test the silver leaching from the nanocomposite membrane in a relative extreme environment. The batch leaching test was examined as the most common leaching test method for the silver composite membrane. The cross-flow filtration and dead-end test were also examined to compare the silver leaching amounts.

The silver coated membrane used in this experiment has an initial silver loading of 2.0± 0.51 ug/cm2. The mass balance was conducted for all of the leaching tests. For the batch test, water jet test, and dead-end filtration, the mass balances are all within 100±25%, which is acceptable in this experiment because of the variance of the initial silver loading on the membranes. A bad silver mass balance was observed at cross-flow filtration. Both of AgNP and Ag ions leached in the solution was examined in this experiment. The concentration of total silver leaching into solutions from the four leaching tests are all below the Secondary Drinking Water Standard for silver which is 100 ppb. The cross-flow test is the most aggressive leaching method, which has more than 80% of silver leached from the membrane after 50 hours of the test. The water jet (54 ± 6.9% of silver remaining) can cause higher silver leaching than batch test (85 ± 1.2% of silver remaining) in one-hour, and it can also cause both AgNP and Ag ions leaching from the membrane, which is closer to the leaching condition in the cross-flow test.

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2017

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Photocatalytic Degradation of para-Chlorobenzoic Acid and Perfluorooctanoic Acid Using Titanium Dioxide and Hexagonal Boron Nitride Catalysts under Three Different Treatment Scales

Description

Nearly 2.1 billion people around the world to date do not have access to safe drinking water. This study proposes a compact (2-L) upflow photoreactor that uses widely available photocatalysts material, such as titanium dioxide (TiO2) or hexagonal boron nitrate

Nearly 2.1 billion people around the world to date do not have access to safe drinking water. This study proposes a compact (2-L) upflow photoreactor that uses widely available photocatalysts material, such as titanium dioxide (TiO2) or hexagonal boron nitrate (hBN), to oxidize toxic micropollutants. Photocatalysts, such as TiO2, can create powerful hydroxyl radicals (OH•) under UV irradiation to oxidize and disinfect water with various toxic pollutants present in untreated waters. The study assesses this along with few other photoreactors in terms of their performance with an indicator dye, such as methyl orange (MO), para-chlorobenzoic acid (pCBA), as an intermediate of pesticides, and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), part of the per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a highly persistent organic contaminant in water. This study also describes the various stages of evolution of this 2-L photoreactor, first using TiO2 coated sand in maintaining a uniform (photocatalyst) bed in suspension along with few other modifications that resulted in a photoreactor with a 3 to 4-fold increase in contact time, is discussed. The final stage of this upflow photoreactor modification resulted in the direct use of photocatalysts as a slurry, which was critical, especially for hBN, which cannot be coated onto the sand particles. During this modification and assessment, a smaller bench-top photoreactor (i.e., collimated beam) was also built and tested. It was primarily used in screening various photocatalysts and operational conditions before assessment at this upflow photoreactor and also at a commercial photoreactor (Purifics Photo-Cat) of a larger scale. Thus, the overall goal of this study is to compare a few of these photoreactors of different designs and scales. This includes a collimated beam (at bench-scale), upflow photoreactor (at testbed scale), and a commercial photoreactor, Photo-Cat (at pilot-scale). This study also discusses the performance of these photoreactors under different operating conditions, which includes evaluating two different photocatalyst types (TiO2 and hBN), variable loading rates, applied UV doses, environment pH, and supplemental peroxide addition (as AOP) and with corresponding EEO values.

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Date Created
2021

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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 Cr(III) – a fairly soluble and non-toxic form at typical

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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Date Created
2019

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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. The formation of biofilms on RO membranes reduces water flux

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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2017

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Adsorption of Perfluoroalkyl Substances from Groundwater Using Pilot and Lab Scale Columns

Description

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that are detected ubiquitously in the aquatic environment, biota, and humans. Human exposure and adverse health of PFAS through consuming impacted drinking water is getting regulatory attention. Adsorption using

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that are detected ubiquitously in the aquatic environment, biota, and humans. Human exposure and adverse health of PFAS through consuming impacted drinking water is getting regulatory attention. Adsorption using granular activated carbon (GAC) and ion exchange resin (IX) has proved to be efficient in removing PFAS from water. There is a need to study the effectiveness of commercially available sorbents in PFAS removal at the pilot-scale with real PFAS contaminated water, which would aid in efficient full-scale plant design. Additionally, there is also a need to have validated bench-scale testing techniques to aid municipalities and researchers in selecting or comparing adsorbents to remove PFAS. Rapid Small-Scale Column Tests (RSSCTs) are bench-scale testing to assess media performance and operational life to remove trace organics but have not been validated for PFAS. Different design considerations exist for RSSCTs, which rely upon either proportional diffusivity (PD) or constant diffusivity (CD) dimensionless scaling relationships.

This thesis aims to validate the use of RSSCTs to simulate PFAS breakthrough in pilot columns. First, a pilot-scale study using two GACs and an IX was conducted for five months at a wellsite in central Arizona. PFAS adsorption capacity was greatest for a commercial IX, and then two GAC sources exhibited similar performance. Second, RSSCTs scaled using PD or CD relationships, simulated the pilot columns, were designed and performed. For IX and the two types of GAC, the CD–RSSCTs simulated the PFAS breakthrough concentration, shape, and order of C8 to C4 compounds observed pilot columns better than the PD-RSSCTs. Finally, PFAS breakthrough and adsorption capacities for PD- and CD-RSSCTs were performed on multiple groundwaters (GWs) from across Arizona to assess the treatability of PFAS chain length and functional head-group moieties. PFAS breakthrough in GAC and IX was dictated by chain length (C4>C6>C8) and functional group (PFCAs>PFSAs) of the compound. Shorter-chain PFAS broke through earlier than the longer chain, and removal trends were related to the hydrophobicity of PFAS. Overall, single-use IX performed superior to any of the evaluated GACs across a range of water chemistries in Arizona GWs.

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2020

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Nitrogen Recovery from Human Urine by Membrane Processes

Description

This dissertation investigated the use of membrane processes to selectively separate and concentrate nitrogen in human urine. The targeted nitrogen species to be recovered were urea from fresh human urine and unionized ammonia from hydrolyzed human urine. Chapter 1 investigated

This dissertation investigated the use of membrane processes to selectively separate and concentrate nitrogen in human urine. The targeted nitrogen species to be recovered were urea from fresh human urine and unionized ammonia from hydrolyzed human urine. Chapter 1 investigated a novel two-step process of forward osmosis (FO) and membrane distillation (MD) to recover the urea in fresh human urine. Specifically, FO was used to selectively separate urea from the other components in urine and MD was used to concentrate the separated urea. The combined process was able to produce a product solution that had an average urea concentration that is 45–68% of the urea concentration found in the fresh urine with greater than 90% rejection of total organic carbon (TOC).Chapter 2 determined the transport behavior of low molecular weight neutral nitrogen compounds in order to maximize ammonia recovery from real hydrolyzed human urine by FO. Novel strategic pH manipulation between the feed and the draw solution allowed for up to 86% recovery of ammonia by keeping the draw solution pH <6.5 and the feed solution pH >11. An economic analysis showed that ammonia recovery by FO has the potential to be much more economically favorable compared to ammonia air stripping or ion exchange if the proper draw solute is chosen.
Chapter 3 investigated the dead-end rejection of urea in fresh urine at varying pH and the rejection of unionized ammonia and the ammonium ion in hydrolyzed urine by reverse osmosis (RO), nanofiltration (NF), and microfiltration (MF). When these different membrane separation processes were compared, NF is found to be a promising technology to recover up to 90% of ammonia from hydrolyzed urine with a high rejection of salts and organics.
Chapter 4 investigated the use of the RO and NF to recover ammonia from hydrolyzed human urine in a cross-flow system where both rejection and fouling experiments were performed. For both RO and NF, ammonia rejection was found to be 0% while still achieving high rejection of TOC and salts, and MF pretreatment greatly reduced the extent of fouling on the membrane surface.

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Date Created
2020

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Use of Microbubbles to Mitigate Scaling in Membrane Distillation

Description

Membrane fouling, especially inorganic fouling, is a significant obstacle to treatinghighly saline brine using membrane distillation (MD). In this study, microbubbles (MBs) were injected into the feed tank of a lab-scale direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) system, and its effect

Membrane fouling, especially inorganic fouling, is a significant obstacle to treatinghighly saline brine using membrane distillation (MD). In this study, microbubbles (MBs) were injected into the feed tank of a lab-scale direct contact membrane distillation (DCMD) system, and its effect on permeate flux over time was examined. A synthetic inland reverse osmosis (RO) brine with a high scaling tendency was used as a feed solution. Results showed a sharper flux decline in the absence of MBs compared to when MBs are continuously injected into the feed tank. The introduction of MBs reduced the formation of salt precipitations on the membrane surface, which was the primary cause of the decline in flux. The use of intermittent MBs injection instead of continuous MB injection was evaluated as a way to reduce energy consumption; with a 15 min MBs injection every 2h, similar benefits were found for intermittent injection compared to continuous injection, indicating that providing MBs continuously is not needed to mitigate scale formation. These results show that MBs can be a potential chemical-free method to prevent scaling in desalination systems treating high saline solutions.

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Date Created
2022