Matching Items (21)

151979-Thumbnail Image.png

Self-assembly at ionic liquid-based interfaces: fundamentals and applications

Description

Liquid-liquid interfaces serve as ideal 2-D templates on which solid particles can self-assemble into various structures. These self-assembly processes are important in fabrication of micron-sized devices and emulsion formulation. At

Liquid-liquid interfaces serve as ideal 2-D templates on which solid particles can self-assemble into various structures. These self-assembly processes are important in fabrication of micron-sized devices and emulsion formulation. At oil/water interfaces, these structures can range from close-packed aggregates to ordered lattices. By incorporating an ionic liquid (IL) at the interface, new self-assembly phenomena emerge. ILs are ionic compounds that are liquid at room temperature (essentially molten salts at ambient conditions) that have remarkable properties such as negligible volatility and high chemical stability and can be optimized for nearly any application. The nature of IL-fluid interfaces has not yet been studied in depth. Consequently, the corresponding self-assembly phenomena have not yet been explored. We demonstrate how the unique molecular nature of ILs allows for new self-assembly phenomena to take place at their interfaces. These phenomena include droplet bridging (the self-assembly of both particles and emulsion droplets), spontaneous particle transport through the liquid-liquid interface, and various gelation behaviors. In droplet bridging, self-assembled monolayers of particles effectively "glue" emulsion droplets to one another, allowing the droplets to self-assembly into large networks. With particle transport, it is experimentally demonstrated the ILs overcome the strong adhesive nature of the liquid-liquid interface and extract solid particles from the bulk phase without the aid of external forces. These phenomena are quantified and corresponding mechanisms are proposed. The experimental investigations are supported by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, which allow for a molecular view of the self-assembly process. In particular, we show that particle self-assembly depends primarily on the surface chemistry of the particles and the non-IL fluid at the interface. Free energy calculations show that the attractive forces between nanoparticles and the liquid-liquid interface are unusually long-ranged, due to capillary waves. Furthermore, IL cations can exhibit molecular ordering at the IL-oil interface, resulting in a slight residual charge at this interface. We also explore the transient IL-IL interface, revealing molecular interactions responsible for the unusually slow mixing dynamics between two ILs. This dissertation, therefore, contributes to both experimental and theoretical understanding of particle self-assembly at IL based interfaces.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

158340-Thumbnail Image.png

Anaerobic Digestion Kinetics of Batch Methanogenic and Electrogenic Systems

Description

Eighty-two percent of the United States population reside in urban areas. The centralized treatment of the municipal wastewater produced by this population is a huge energy expenditure, up to three

Eighty-two percent of the United States population reside in urban areas. The centralized treatment of the municipal wastewater produced by this population is a huge energy expenditure, up to three percent of the entire energy budget of the country. A portion of this energy is able to be recovered through the process of anaerobic sludge digestion. Typically, this technology converts the solids separated and generated during the wastewater treatment process into methane, a combustible gas that may be burned to generate electricity. Designing and optimizing anaerobic digestion systems requires the measurement of degradation rates for waste-specific kinetic parameters. In this work, I discuss the ways these kinetic parameters are typically measured. I recommend and demonstrate improvements to these commonly used measuring techniques. I provide experimental results of batch kinetic experiments exploring the effect of sludge pretreatment, a process designed to facilitate rapid breakdown of recalcitrant solids, on energy recovery rates. I explore the use of microbial electrochemical cells, an alternative energy recovery technology able to produce electricity directly from sludge digestion, as precise reporters of degradation kinetics. Finally, I examine a fundamental kinetic limitation of microbial electrochemical cells, acidification of the anode respiring biofilm, to improve their performance as kinetic sensors or energy recovery technologies.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

151393-Thumbnail Image.png

Exploring additional dehalogenation abilities of DehaloR̂2, a previously characterized, trichloroethene-degrading microbial consortium

Description

DehaloR^2 is a previously characterized, trichloroethene (TCE)-dechlorinating culture and contains bacteria from the known dechlorinating genus, Dehalococcoides. DehaloR^2 was exposed to three anthropogenic contaminants, Triclocarban (TCC), tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP), and

DehaloR^2 is a previously characterized, trichloroethene (TCE)-dechlorinating culture and contains bacteria from the known dechlorinating genus, Dehalococcoides. DehaloR^2 was exposed to three anthropogenic contaminants, Triclocarban (TCC), tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP), and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) and two biogenic-like halogenated compounds, 2,6-dibromophenol (2,6-DBP) and 2,6-dichlorophenol (2,6-DCP). The effects on TCE dechlorination ability due to 2,6-DBP and 2,6-DCP exposures were also investigated. DehaloR^2 did not dechlorinate TCC or TCEP. After initial exposure to TCA, half of the initial TCA was dechlorinated to 1,1-dichloroethane (DCA), however half of the TCA remained by day 100. Subsequent TCA and TCE re-exposure showed no reductive dechlorination activity for both TCA and TCE by 120 days after the re-exposure. It has been hypothesized that the microbial TCE-dechlorinating ability was developed before TCE became abundant in groundwater. This dechlorinating ability would have existed in the microbial metabolism due to previous exposure to biogenic halogenated compounds. After observing the inability of DehaloR^2 to dechlorinate other anthropogenic compounds, DehaloR^2 was then exposed to two naturally occurring halogenated phenols, 2,6-DBP and 2,6-DCP, in the presence and absence of TCE. DehaloR^2 debrominated 2,6-DBP through the intermediate 2-bromophenol (2-BP) to the end product phenol faster in the presence of TCE. DehaloR^2 dechlorinated 2,6-DCP to 2-CP in the absence of TCE; however, 2,6-DCP dechlorination was incomplete in the presence of TCE. Additionally, when 2,6-DBP was present, complete TCE dechlorination to ethene occurred more quickly than when TCE was present without 2,6-DBP. However, when 2,6-DCP was present, TCE dechlorination to ethene had not completed by day 55. The increased dehalogenation rate of 2,6-DBP and TCE when present together compared to conditions containing only 2,6-DBP or only TCE suggests a possible synergistic relationship between 2,6-DBP and TCE, while the decreased dechlorination rate of 2,6-DCP and TCE when present together compared to conditions containing only 2,6-DCP or only TCE suggests an inhibitory effect.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

153982-Thumbnail Image.png

Coupling bioflocculation of Dehalococcoides to high-dechlorination rates for ex situ and in situ bioremediation

Description

Bioremediation of trichloroethene (TCE) using Dehalococcoides mccartyi-containing microbial cultures is a recognized and successful remediation technology. Our work with an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor has shown that high-performance,

Bioremediation of trichloroethene (TCE) using Dehalococcoides mccartyi-containing microbial cultures is a recognized and successful remediation technology. Our work with an upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor has shown that high-performance, fast-rate dechlorination of TCE can be achieved by promoting bioflocculation of Dehalococcoides mccartyi-containing cultures. The bioreactor achieved high maximum conversion rates of 1.63 ± 0.012 mmol Cl- Lculture-1 h-1 at an HRT of 3.6 hours and >97% dechlorination of TCE to ethene while continuously fed 2 mM TCE. The UASB generated bioflocs from a microbially heterogeneous dechlorinating culture and produced Dehalococcoides mccartyi densities of 1.73x10-13 cells Lculture-1 indicating that bioflocculation of Dehalococcoides mccartyi-containing cultures can lead to high density inocula and high-performance, fast-rate bioaugmentation culture for in situ treatment. The successful operation of our pilot scale bioreactor led to the assessment of the technology as an onsite ex-situ treatment system. The bioreactor was then fed TCE-contaminated groundwater from the Motorola Inc. 52nd Street Plant Superfund site in Phoenix, AZ augmented with the lactate and methanol. The bioreactor maintained >99% dechlorination of TCE to ethene during continuous operation at an HRT of 3.2 hours. Microbial community analysis under both experimental conditions reveals shifts in the community structure although maintaining high rate dechlorination. High density dechlorinating cultures containing bioflocs can provide new ways to 1) produce dense bioaugmentation cultures, 2) perform ex-situ bioremediation of TCE, and 3) increase our understanding of Dehalococcoides mccartyi critical microbial interactions that can be exploited at contaminated sites in order to improve long-term bioremediation schemes.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

154350-Thumbnail Image.png

Exploring growth essential genes in E. coli using synthetic small RNA to enhance production of phenylalanine

Description

Biomass synthesis is a competing factor in biological systems geared towards generation of commodity and specialty chemicals, ultimately limiting maximum titer and yield; in this thesis, a widely generalizable, modular

Biomass synthesis is a competing factor in biological systems geared towards generation of commodity and specialty chemicals, ultimately limiting maximum titer and yield; in this thesis, a widely generalizable, modular approach focused on decoupling biomass synthesis from the production of the phenylalanine in a genetically modified strain of E. coli BW25113 was explored with the use of synthetic trans-encoded small RNA (sRNA) to achieve greater efficiency. The naturally occurring sRNA MicC was used as a scaffold, and combined on a plasmid with a promoter for anhydrous tetracycline (aTc) and a T1/TE terminator. The coding sequence corresponding to the target binding site for fourteen potentially growth-essential gene targets as well as non-essential lacZ was placed in the seed region of the of the sRNA scaffold and transformed into BW25113, effectively generating a unique strain for each gene target. The BW25113 strain corresponding to each gene target was screened in M9 minimal media; decreased optical density and elongated cell morphology changes were observed and quantified in all induced sRNA cases where growth-essential genes were targeted. Six of the strains targeting different aspects of cell division that effectively suppressed growth and resulted in increased cell size were then screened for viability and metabolic activity in a scaled-up shaker flask experiment; all six strains were shown to be viable during stationary phase, and a metabolite analysis showed increased specific glucose consumption rates in induced strains, with unaffected specific glucose consumption rates in uninduced strains. The growth suppression, morphology and metabolic activity of the induced strains in BW25113 was compared to the bacteriostatic additives chloramphenicol, tetracycline, and streptomycin. At this same scale, the sRNA plasmid targeting the gene murA was transformed into BW25113 pINT-GA, a phenylalanine overproducer with the feedback resistant genes aroG and pheA overexpressed. Two induction times were explored during exponential phase, and while the optimal induction time was found to increase titer and yield amongst the BW25113 pINT-GA murA sRNA variant, overall this did not have as great a titer or yield as the BW25113 pINT-GA strain without the sRNA plasmid; this may be a result of the cell filamentation.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

154541-Thumbnail Image.png

Anaerobic conversion of primary sludge to resources in microbial electrochemical cells

Description

Microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) serve as an alternative anaerobic technology to anaerobic digestion for efficient energy recovery from high-strength organic wastes such as primary sludge (PS). The overarching goal

Microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) serve as an alternative anaerobic technology to anaerobic digestion for efficient energy recovery from high-strength organic wastes such as primary sludge (PS). The overarching goal of my research was to address energy conversion from PS to useful resources (e.g. hydrogen or hydrogen peroxide) through bio- and electro-chemical anaerobic conversion processes in MXCs.

First, a new flat-pate microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) was designed with high surface area anodes using carbon fibers, but without creating a large distance between the anode and the cathode (<0.5 cm) to reduce Ohmic overpotential. Through the improved design, operation, and electrochemical characterization, the applied voltages were reduced from 1.1 to ~0.85 V, at 10 A m-2. Second, PS conversion was examined through hydrolysis, fermentation, methanogenesis, and/or anode respiration. Since pretreatment often is required to accelerate hydrolysis of organic solids, I evaluated pulsed electric field technology on PS showing a modest improvement of energy conversion through methanogenesis and fermentation, as compared to the conversion from waste activated sludge (WAS) or WAS+PS. Then, a two-stage system (prefermented PS-fed MEC) yielded successful performance in terms of Coulombic efficiency (95%), Coulombic recovery (CR, 80%), and COD-removal efficiency (85%). However, overall PS conversion to electrical current (or CR) through pre-fermentation and MEC, was just ~16%. Next, a single-stage system (direct PS-fed MEC) with semi-continuous operation showed 34% CR at a 9-day hydraulic retention time. The PS-fed MEC also showed an important pH dependency, in which high pH (> 8) in the anode chamber improved anode respiration along with methanogen inhibition. Finally, H2O2 was produced in a PS-fed microbial electrochemical cell with a low energy requirement (~0.87 kWh per kg H2O2). These research developments will provide groundbreaking knowledge for MXC design, commercial application, and anaerobic energy conversion from other high-strength organic wastes to resources.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

154650-Thumbnail Image.png

Energy and the environment: electrochemistry of electron transport pathways in anode-respiring bacteria and energy technology and climate change in science textbooks

Description

The finite supply of current energy production materials has created opportunities for the investigation of alternative energy sources in many fields. One example is the use of microorganisms in

The finite supply of current energy production materials has created opportunities for the investigation of alternative energy sources in many fields. One example is the use of microorganisms in bioenergy applications, such as microbial fuel cells. Present in many types of environments, microorganisms with the ability to respire solid electron acceptors have become of increasing relevance to alternative energy and wastewater treatment research. In this dissertation, several aspects of anode respiration are investigated, with the goal of increasing the limited understanding of the mechanisms of electron transport through the use of advanced electrochemical methods. Biofilms of Geobacter sulfurreducens, the model anode respiring organism, as well as its alkaliphilic relative, Geoalkalibacter ferrihydriticus, were investigated using chronoamperometry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and cyclic voltammetry.

In G. sulfurreducens, two distinct pathways of electron transport were observed through the application of advanced electrochemical techniques on anode biofilms in microbial electrochemical cells. These pathways were found to be preferentially expressed, based on the poised anode potential (redox potential) of the electrode. In Glk. ferrihydriticus, four pathways for electron transport were found, showing an even greater diversity in electron transport pathway utilization as compared to G. sulfurreducens. These observations provide insights into the diversity of electron transport pathways present in anode-respiring bacteria and introduce the necessity of further characterization for pathway identification.

Essential to science today, communication of pressing scientific issues to the lay audience may present certain difficulties. This can be seen especially with the topics that are considered socio-scientific issues, those considered controversial in society but not for scientists. This dissertation explores the presentation of alternative and renewable energy technologies and climate change in undergraduate education. In introductory-level Biology, Chemistry, and Physics textbooks, the content and terminology presented were analyzed for individual textbooks and used to evaluate discipline-based trends. Additional extensions were made between teaching climate change with the active learning technique of citizen science using past research gains from studies of evolution. These observations reveal patterns in textbook content for energy technologies and climate change, as well as exploring new aspects of teaching techniques.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

151266-Thumbnail Image.png

Synthesis, characterizations and applications of mesoporous carbon composites

Description

This dissertation provides a fundamental understanding of the properties of mesoporous carbon based materials and the utilization of those properties into different applications such as electrodes materials for super capacitors,

This dissertation provides a fundamental understanding of the properties of mesoporous carbon based materials and the utilization of those properties into different applications such as electrodes materials for super capacitors, adsorbents for water treatments and biosensors. The thickness of mesoporous carbon films on Si substrates are measured by Ellipsometry method and pore size distribution has been calculated by Kelvin equation based on toluene adsorption and desorption isotherms monitored by Ellipsometer. The addition of organometallics cobalt and vanalyl acetylacetonate in the synthesis precursor leads to the metal oxides in the carbon framework, which largely decreased the shrink of the framework during carbonization, resulting in an increase in the average pore size. In addition to the structural changes, the introduction of metal oxides into mesoporous carbon framework greatly enhances the electrochemical performance as a result of their pseudocapacitance. Also, after the addition of Co into the framework, the contraction of mesoporous powders decreased significantly and the capacitance increased prominently because of the solidification function of CoO nanoparticles. When carbon-cobalt composites are used as adsorbent, the adsorption capacity of dye pollutant in water is remarkably higher (90 mg/g) after adding Co than the mesoporous carbon powder (2 mg/g). Furthermore, the surface area and pore size of mesoporous composites can be greatly increased by addition of tetraethyl orthosilicate into the precursor with subsequent etching, which leads to a dramatic increase in the adsorption capacity from 90 mg/g up to 1151 mg/g. When used as electrode materials for amperometric biosensors, mesoporous carbons showed good sensitivity, selectivity and stability. And fluorine-free and low-cost poly (methacrylate)s have been developed as binders for screen printed biosensors. With using only 5wt% of poly (hydroxybutyl methacrylate), the glucose sensor maintained mechanical integrity and exhibited excellent sensitivity on detecting glucose level in whole rabbit blood. Furthermore, extremely high surface area mesoporous carbons have been synthesized by introducing inorganic Si precursor during self-assembly, which effectively determined norepinephrine at very low concentrations.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

157944-Thumbnail Image.png

Understanding electro-selective fermentation of Scenedesmus acutus and its effect on lipids extraction and biohydrogenation

Description

Electro-Selective Fermentation (ESF) combines Selective Fermentation (SF) and a Microbial Electrolysis Cell (MEC) to selectively degrade carbohydrate and protein in lipid-rich microalgae biomass, enhancing lipid wet-extraction. In addition, saturated

Electro-Selective Fermentation (ESF) combines Selective Fermentation (SF) and a Microbial Electrolysis Cell (MEC) to selectively degrade carbohydrate and protein in lipid-rich microalgae biomass, enhancing lipid wet-extraction. In addition, saturated long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) are produced via β-oxidation. This dissertation builds understanding of the biochemical phenomena and microbial interactions occurring among fermenters, lipid biohydrogenaters, and anode respiring bacteria (ARB) in ESF. The work begins by proving that ESF is effective in enhancing lipid wet-extraction from Scenedesmus acutus biomass, while also achieving “biohydrogenation” to produce saturated LCFAs. Increasing anode respiration effectively scavenges short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) generated by fermentation, reducing electron loss. However, the effectiveness of ESF depends on biochemical characteristics of the feeding biomass (FB). Four different FB batches yield different lipid-extraction performances, based on the composition of FB’s cellular structure. Finally, starting an ESF reactor with a long solid retention time (SRT), but then switching it to a short SRT provides high lipid extractability and volumetric production with low lipid los. Lipid fermenters can be flushed out with short a SRT, but starting with a short SRT fails achieve good results because fermenters needed to degrading algal protective layers also are flushed out and fail to recover when a long SRT is imposed. These results point to a potentially useful technology to harvest lipid from microalgae, as well as insight about how this technology can be best managed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

158299-Thumbnail Image.png

Characterization of Souring in Anaerobic Co-digestion Reactors Loaded with Thickened Sludge, Food Waste, and Fats, Oils and Grease Waste

Description

Seeking to address sustainability issues associated with food waste (FW), and fat, oil, and grease (FOG) waste disposal, the City of Mesa commissioned the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology

Seeking to address sustainability issues associated with food waste (FW), and fat, oil, and grease (FOG) waste disposal, the City of Mesa commissioned the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology (BSCEB) at Arizona State University (ASU) to study to the impact of implementing FW/FOG co-digestion at the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). A key issue for the study was the “souring” of the anaerobic digesters (ADs), which means that the microorganism responsible for organic degradation were deactivated, causing failure of the AD. Several bench-scale reactors soured after the introduction of the FW/FOG feed streams. By comparing measurements from stable with measurements from the souring reactors, I identified two different circumstances responsible for souring events. One set of reactors soured rapidly after the introduction of FW/FOG due to the digester’s hydraulic retention times (HRT) becoming too short for stable operation. A second set of reactors soured after a long period of stability due to steady accumulation of fatty acids (FAs) that depleted bicarbonate alkalinity. FA accumulation was caused by the incomplete hydrolysis/fermentation of feedstock protein, leading to insufficient release of ammonium (NH4+). In contrast, carbohydrates were more rapidly hydrolyzed and fermented to FAs.

The most important contribution of my research is that I identified several leading indicators of souring. In all cases of souring, the accumulation of soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD) was an early and easily quantified indicator. A shift in effluent FA concentrations from shorter to longer species also portended souring. A reduction in the yield of methane (CH4) per mass of volatile suspended solids removed (VSSR) also identified souring conditions, but its variability prevented the methane yield from providing advanced warning to allow intervention. For the rapidly soured reactors, reduced bicarbonate alkalinity was the most useful warning sign, and an increasing ratio of SCOD to bicarbonate alkalinity was the clearest sign of souring. Because I buffered the slow-souring reactors with calcium carbonate (CaCO3), I could not rely on bicarbonate alkalinity as an indicator, which put a premium on SCOD as the early warning. I implemented two buffering regimes and demonstrated that early and consistent buffering could lead to reactor recovery.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020