Matching Items (65)

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Evaluating the feasibility of molasses as an electron donor for enhanced bioremediation of chlorinated solvents

Description

Lactate and methanol have been the most commonly used electron donors in the Krajmalnik-Brown laboratory for efficient microbial dechlorination of trichloroethene (TCE). Our goal was to assess the technical and

Lactate and methanol have been the most commonly used electron donors in the Krajmalnik-Brown laboratory for efficient microbial dechlorination of trichloroethene (TCE). Our goal was to assess the technical and economic feasibility of molasses and ethanol, two alternative electron donors by evaluating their costs and ability support complete TCE dechlorination to ethene. First, ethanol and molasses, with and without methanol, were evaluated for their abilities to support complete dechlorination in batch serum bottles. Molasses, the cheapest alternative, supported a similar dechlorination performance to lactate in batch experiments, so we then used it in an upflow anaerobic bioreactor (UABR) to test its ability to support rapid dechlorination in this continuous system. Molasses supported 88% TCE conversion to ethene at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 13 hours after 80 days of operation in continuous mode. Compared to the UABR operated previously using lactate and methanol, molasses led to a reduction of TCE conversion to ethene, and a possible increase in time required to produce culture. Additionally, when molasses was used as the electron donor, we encountered new difficulties in the operation of the UABR, such as drastic pH changes. Therefore, I conclude that the savings from using molasses is outweighed by the costs associated with the reduction in dechlorination performance and increase in reactor maintenance. I recommend that lactate and methanol continue to be used as the electron donors in the Krajmalnik- Brown dechlorination lab to support fast-rate and cost-effective production of dechlorinating culture in an UABR. Because molasses supported fast rates of dechlorination in the batch experiment, however, it is potentially a better option than lactate and methanol for batch production of culture or for biostimulation, where the aquifer resembles a batch system. I recommend that further studies be done to reach a general conclusion about the feasibility of molasses as an electron donor for other enhanced bioremediation projects.

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  • 2014-12

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Increasing Energy Recovery in Microbial Electrochemical Cells (MXCs) by Studying the Effect of Ammonium on the Anaerobic Digestion of Fermentable Substrates.

Description

The effect of ammonium on microbial fermentation was investigated to improve the efficiency of microbial electrochemical cells (MXC). Electron balances of anaerobic microbial cultures with varying ammonium concentrations (reported as

The effect of ammonium on microbial fermentation was investigated to improve the efficiency of microbial electrochemical cells (MXC). Electron balances of anaerobic microbial cultures with varying ammonium concentrations (reported as g N-NH4+/L) were used to study the distribution of electrons from different fermentable substrates to acetate, propionate, and methane. Results showed that with a high ammonium concentration (between 2.25 to 3g N-NH4+/L) fewer electrons routed to methane during the fermentation of 300 me-eq./L of electron donors .The majority of electrons (~ 60-80%) in the serum bottles experiments were routed to acetate and propionate for all fermentable substrates with high ammonium concentration. While methane cannot be utilized by anode respiring bacteria (ARBs) to produce current, both acetate and propionate can, which could lead to higher Coulombic efficiencies in MXCs. Experiments in microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) with glucose, lactate, and ethanol were performed. MEC experiments showed low percentage of electrons to current (between 10-30 %), potentially due to low anode surface area (~ 3cm2) used during these experiments. Nevertheless, the fermentation process observed in the MECs was similar to serum bottles results which showed significant diversion of electrons to acetate and propionate (~ 80%) for a control concentration of 0.5 g N-NH4+/L .

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  • 2013-05

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BIOREMEDIATION OF TRICHLOROETHENE AND HEXAVALENT CHROMIUM: A SITE-SPECIFIC CASE STUDY

Description

Trichloroethene (TCE) and hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] are toxic and carcinogenic contaminants found in drinking water resources across the United States. A series of Bench-scale treatability studies were conducted to evaluate

Trichloroethene (TCE) and hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] are toxic and carcinogenic contaminants found in drinking water resources across the United States. A series of Bench-scale treatability studies were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of a consortium of facultative and strictly anaerobic bacteria, KB-1®, to remove TCE and Cr(VI) from a contaminated aquifer in San Diego. These series of treatability studies were also performed to prepare data and mature packed sediment columns for the deployment of the In Situ Microcosm Array (ISMA), a diagnostic device for determining optimal treatments for a contaminated aquifer, at this particular site. First, a control panel for the ISMA’s Injection Module (IM) was created in order to deliver nutrients to the columns. Then, a column treatability study was performed in order to produce columns with an established KB-1® consortium, so that all TCE in the column influent was converted to ethene by the time it had exited the column. Finally, a batch bottle treatability study was performed to determine KB-1®’s effectiveness at remediating both TCE and Cr(VI) from the San Diego ground-water samples. The results from the column study found that KB-1® was able to reduce TCE in mineral media. However, in the presence of site ground-water for the batch bottle study, KB-1® was only able to reduce Cr(VI) and no TCE dechlorination was observed. This result suggests that the dechlorinating culture cannot survive prolonged exposure to Cr(VI). Therefore, future work may involve repeating the batch bottle study with Cr(VI) removed from the groundwater prior to inoculation to determine if KB-1® is then able to dechlorinate TCE.

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  • 2013-05

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The Effect of Heterotrophic Bacteria on the Growth Rate of Synechocystis sp. PCC6803

Description

With global warming becoming a more serious problem and mankind's alarming dependency on fossil fuels, the need for a sustainable and environmentally friendly fuel source is becoming more important. Biofuels

With global warming becoming a more serious problem and mankind's alarming dependency on fossil fuels, the need for a sustainable and environmentally friendly fuel source is becoming more important. Biofuels produced from photosynthetic microorganisms like algae or cyanobacteria offer a carbon neutral replacement for petroleum fuel sources; however, with the technology and information available today, the amount of biomass that would need to be produced is not economically feasible. In this work, I examined a possible factor impacting the growth of a model cyanobacterium, Synechocystis sp. PCC6803, which is heterotrophic bacteria communities accompanying the cyanobacteria. I experimented with three variables: the type of heterotrophic bacteria strain, the initial concentration of heterotrophic bacteria, and the addition of a carbon source (glucose) to the culture. With experimental information, I identified if given conditions would increase Synechocystis growth and thus increase the yield of biomass. I found that under non-limiting growth conditions, heterotrophic bacteria do not significantly affect the growth of Synechocystis or the corresponding biomass yield. The initial concentration of heterotrophic bacteria and the added glucose also did not affect the growth of Synechocystis. I did see some nutrient recycling from the heterotrophic bacteria as the phosphate levels in the growth medium were depleted, which was apparent from prolonged growth phase and higher levels of reactive phosphate in the media.

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  • 2015-12

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Quantifying Biological Hydrogen Demand of Sediments

Description

Hydrogen is a key indicator of microbial activity in soils/sediments and groundwater because of its role as an electron donor for reducing sulfate and nitrate and carrying out other metabolic

Hydrogen is a key indicator of microbial activity in soils/sediments and groundwater because of its role as an electron donor for reducing sulfate and nitrate and carrying out other metabolic processes. The goal of this study was to quantitatively measure the total biological hydrogen demand (TBHD) of soils and sediments in anaerobic environments. We define the total biological hydrogen demand as the sum of all electron acceptors that can be used by hydrogen-oxidizing microorganisms. Three sets of anaerobic microcosms were set up with different soils/sediments, named Carolina, Garden, and ASM. The microcosms included 25g of soil/sediment and 75 mL of anaerobic medium. 10 mL of hydrogen were pulse-fed for 100 days. Hydrogen consumption and methane production were tracked using gas chromatography. Chemical analysis of each soil was performed at the beginning of the experiment to determine the concentration of electron acceptors in the soils/sediments, including nitrate, sulfate, iron and bicarbonate. An analysis of the microbial community was done at t = 0 and at the end of the 100 days to examine changes in the microbial community due to the metabolic processes occurring as hydrogen was consumed. Carolina consumed 9810 43 mol of hydrogen and produced 19,572 2075 mol of methane. Garden consumed 4006 33 mol of hydrogen and produced 7,239 543 mol of methane. Lastly, ASM consumed 1557 84 mol of hydrogen and produced 1,325 715 mol of methane. I conclude that the concentration of bicarbonate initially present in the soil had the most influence over the hydrogen demand and microbial community enrichment. To improve this research, I recommend that future studies include a chemical analysis of final soil geochemistry conditions, as this will provide with a better idea of what pathway the hydrogen is taking in each soil.

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  • 2017-05

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Vineland II Evaluations of Children and Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Description

This is a study of the adaptive behaviors of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder using the Vineland II Adaptive Behavioral Scale (VABS-II). This scale was used to determine the overall

This is a study of the adaptive behaviors of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder using the Vineland II Adaptive Behavioral Scale (VABS-II). This scale was used to determine the overall functioning level of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the beginning, and will be used at the end, of a year-long study beginning at Arizona State University. This larger study is determining what the effects are, if any, of a combination of nutritional and dietary treatments in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. However, this paper only examines the VABS-II results of forty-three participants in the study, as well as their hand-grip strength. It was found that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder are substantially delayed in all four domains (communication, daily living skills, social skills, and motor skills) of adaptive behaviors measured by the VABS-II, particularly in communication. This study will be completed in May 2013, when it will be determined what the effects of these treatments are, if any.

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  • 2012-05

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Factors that modulate production of tryptophan by Gut Bacteria

Description

Microorganisms can produce metabolites in the gut including short chain fatty acids, vitamins, and amino acids. Certain metabolites produced in the gut can affect the brain through changes in

Microorganisms can produce metabolites in the gut including short chain fatty acids, vitamins, and amino acids. Certain metabolites produced in the gut can affect the brain through changes in neurotransmitter concentrations. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, is associated with mood, appetite, and sleep. Up to 90% of serotonin synthesis is located in the gut, by human enterochromaffin cells. Bacteria known to biosynthesize tryptophan, precursor to serotonin, include Escherichia coli, Enterococcus and Streptococcus. Tryptophan is synthesized by bacteria with the enzyme tryptophan synthase and requires Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal). We hypothesize that gut isolates from surgical weight loss patients can enhance tryptophan production, which relies on vitamin B6 availability. Our goal was to isolate bacteria in order to test for tryptophan production and to determine how Vitamin B6 concentrations could affect tryptophan production. We isolated gut bacteria was from successful surgical weight loss patient with selective pressures for Enterobacter isolates and Enterococcus isolates. We tested the isolates were tested to determine if they could biosynthesize tryptophan in-vitro. Bacterial cultures were enriched with yeast and enriched with serine and indole, substrates necessary for tryptophan biosynthesis. We analyzed the supernatant samples for tryptophan production using GC-FID. Bacterial isolates most closely related to E. coli and Klebsiella based on 16S rRNA gene sequences, produced tryptophan in vitro. While under serine & indole media conditions, R1, the isolate most similar to Klebsiella produced more tryptophan than R14, the isolate most similar to E. coli. We tested the R1 isolate with a gradient of vitamin B6 concentrations from 0.02 µg/mL to 0.2 µg/mL to determine its effect on tryptophan production. When less than 0.05 µg/mL of Vitamin B6 was added, tryptophan production at 6 hours was higher than tryptophan production with Vitamin B6 concentrations at 0.05 µg/mL and above. The production and consumption of tryptophan by Klebsiella under 0 µg/mL and 0.02 µg/mL concentrations of Vitamin B6 occurred at a faster rate when compared to concentrations 0.05 µg/mL or higher of Vitamin B6.

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  • 2016-05

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Evaluating Changes in the Gut Microbial Composition, Diet, and Overall Health in Children in the Nutrition and Health Awareness Program

Description

In the United States, the prevalence of pediatric obesity has increased to 17% in the general population and even more so in the Hispanic pediatric population to 22.4%. These children

In the United States, the prevalence of pediatric obesity has increased to 17% in the general population and even more so in the Hispanic pediatric population to 22.4%. These children are at a higher risk for associated comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance. The purpose of the following study is to determine the effectiveness of the Nutrition and Health Awareness curriculum at reducing childhood obesity by evaluating alterations in the gut microbial composition, diet, and overall health of the students throughout the five-week program. Nutrition and Health Awareness (NHA) is a student organization that strives to reduce the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, specifically in children, by providing active nutrition education services through peer mentoring in elementary schools and community programs. This study went through ASU's Institutional Review Board process and all forms were translated into Spanish. The control group maintained their normal routines and the experimental group received the 5 week NHA program and then continued with their normal routines. Anthropometric measures (Body Mass Index, waist-to-hip ratio, and blood pressure), diet measures (Hispanic food frequency questionnaire), fecal swabs, and content surveys were collected on weeks 0, 5, and 8. Contrary to expected, alpha diversity, kilocalorie intake, and macronutrient intake decreased as the study progressed for both the control and experimental groups. Anthropometric measurements were relatively stable. Though not statistically significant, the greatest difference in time points is between weeks 1 and 8. This decrease in alpha diversity and kilocalorie intake could be due to a change in environment since the children started school on week 8. Future implications of this study are that parental involvement is necessary for an effective, sustainable change in these children. More research in different settings is necessary to determine NHA's effectiveness

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  • 2016-05

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Genomes of Geoalkalibacter Ferrihydriticus Z-0531T and Geoalkalibacter Subterraneus Red1T, Two Haloalkaliphilic Metal-Reducing Deltaproteobacteria

Description

We sequenced and annotated genomes of two haloalkaliphilic Deltaproteobacteria, Geoalkalibacter ferrihydriticus Z-0531T (DSM 17813) and Geoalkalibacter subterraneus Red1T (DSM 23483). During assembly, we discovered that the DSMZ stock culture of

We sequenced and annotated genomes of two haloalkaliphilic Deltaproteobacteria, Geoalkalibacter ferrihydriticus Z-0531T (DSM 17813) and Geoalkalibacter subterraneus Red1T (DSM 23483). During assembly, we discovered that the DSMZ stock culture of G. subterraneus was contaminated. We reisolated G. subterraneus in axenic culture and redeposited it in DSMZ and JCM.

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  • 2015-03-12

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Role of bicarbonate as a pH buffer and electron sink in microbial dechlorination of chloroethenes

Description

Background
Buffering to achieve pH control is crucial for successful trichloroethene (TCE) anaerobic bioremediation. Bicarbonate (HCO3−) is the natural buffer in groundwater and the buffer of choice in the laboratory

Background
Buffering to achieve pH control is crucial for successful trichloroethene (TCE) anaerobic bioremediation. Bicarbonate (HCO3−) is the natural buffer in groundwater and the buffer of choice in the laboratory and at contaminated sites undergoing biological treatment with organohalide respiring microorganisms. However, HCO3− also serves as the electron acceptor for hydrogenotrophic methanogens and hydrogenotrophic homoacetogens, two microbial groups competing with organohalide respirers for hydrogen (H2). We studied the effect of HCO3− as a buffering agent and the effect of HCO3−-consuming reactions in a range of concentrations (2.5-30 mM) with an initial pH of 7.5 in H2-fed TCE reductively dechlorinating communities containing Dehalococcoides, hydrogenotrophic methanogens, and hydrogenotrophic homoacetogens.
Results
Rate differences in TCE dechlorination were observed as a result of added varying HCO3− concentrations due to H2-fed electrons channeled towards methanogenesis and homoacetogenesis and pH increases (up to 8.7) from biological HCO3− consumption. Significantly faster dechlorination rates were noted at all HCO3− concentrations tested when the pH buffering was improved by providing 4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid (HEPES) as an additional buffer. Electron balances and quantitative PCR revealed that methanogenesis was the main electron sink when the initial HCO3− concentrations were 2.5 and 5 mM, while homoacetogenesis was the dominant process and sink when 10 and 30 mM HCO3− were provided initially.
Conclusions
Our study reveals that HCO3− is an important variable for bioremediation of chloroethenes as it has a prominent role as an electron acceptor for methanogenesis and homoacetogenesis. It also illustrates the changes in rates and extent of reductive dechlorination resulting from the combined effect of electron donor competition stimulated by HCO3− and the changes in pH exerted by methanogens and homoacetogens.

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  • 2012-09-13