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Full-Text Articles in Engineering

Policy Design Tool For Managing Indoor Residential Water Demand In Water-Scarce Regions, Mujahed M. Thneibat Dec 2016

Policy Design Tool For Managing Indoor Residential Water Demand In Water-Scarce Regions, Mujahed M. Thneibat

Open Access Dissertations

In view of population growth; climate change; and economic evolution, water resources in numerous parts of the world have reached their natural capacities. Consequently, the ability of many countries to grow; meet the basic needs of inhabitants; and protect the environment will be endangered like never before unless water resources are smartly handled and managed. ^ In the past few decades, many developed and developing countries have suffered from water scarcity, and more are certain to follow. The water security dilemma is much more challenging in developing countries. Water utilities have had to follow regulatory plans to manage demand on water ...


Enabling A Sustainable Economy Through Energy Systems Modeling: Solar-Centric, Efficient, Integrated And Continuous Process Synthesis And Optimization, Emre Gencer Aug 2016

Enabling A Sustainable Economy Through Energy Systems Modeling: Solar-Centric, Efficient, Integrated And Continuous Process Synthesis And Optimization, Emre Gencer

Open Access Dissertations

The expected increase in food, energy and water demand due to increase in population and change in consumption habits in conjunction with diminishing fossil fuel reserves and increasing greenhouse gas emissions urge the development and implementation of alternative energy conversion techniques using renewable energy for a sustainable economy. Among renewable energy sources, solar energy is prominent due to its abundance. A sustainable economy can be created by producing building blocks foundational to meeting all basic human needs of daily existence. However, intermittencies and limitations on land area dedicated to harness solar energy are the major obstacles on widespread implementation of ...


Simulation Of Conservation Practice Effects On Water Quality Under Current And Future Climate Scenarios, Carlington W. Wallace May 2016

Simulation Of Conservation Practice Effects On Water Quality Under Current And Future Climate Scenarios, Carlington W. Wallace

Open Access Dissertations

Analysis of the effects of implementing different conservation practices, as well as increased levels of conservation practices under existing and projected future climate, will determine if current conservation practice recommendations will be sufficient to maintain soil and water resources. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to study four watersheds of different sizes (CCW = 680 km2, F34 = 183 km2, AXL = 42 km 2 and ALG = 20 km2) located in Northeastern Indiana. The overarching goal of this study was to evaluate the effect of various agricultural practices on runoff and agricultural chemical losses under current and future climate conditions ...


Investigation Of Climate Variability And Climate Change Impacts On Corn Yield In The Eastern Corn Belt, Usa, Ruoyu Wang May 2016

Investigation Of Climate Variability And Climate Change Impacts On Corn Yield In The Eastern Corn Belt, Usa, Ruoyu Wang

Open Access Dissertations

The increasing demand for both food and biofuels requires more corn production at global scale. However, current corn yield is not able to meet bio-ethanol demand without jeopardizing food security or intensifying and expanding corn cultivation. An alternative solution is to utilize cellulose and hemi-cellulose from perennial grasses to fulfill the increasing demand for biofuel energy. A watershed level scenario analysis is often applied to figure out a sustainable way to strike the balance between food and fuel demands, and maintain environment integrity. However, a solid modeling application requires a clear understanding of crop responses under various climate stresses. This ...


Hydrologic And Water Quality Impacts From Perennial Crop Production On Marginal Lands, Qingyu Feng Mar 2016

Hydrologic And Water Quality Impacts From Perennial Crop Production On Marginal Lands, Qingyu Feng

Open Access Dissertations

Marginal lands are proposed as a viable option for producing biofeedstocks as these lands are not heavily engaged in agricultural production or may not be suitable for intensive row-crop food/feed production. However, meeting biofeedstock production goals will require large amount of marginal lands and the unintended consequences of producing biofeedstocks on marginal lands are not fully clear. The overall goal of this study was to evaluate the productivity of biofeedstocks on marginal lands and the potential impacts on hydrologic and water quality processes from the land use conversion.

This study was conducted in the Upper Mississippi River Basin (UMRB ...


Estimating The Water Quality Condition Of River And Lake Water In The Midwestern United States From Its Spectral Characteristics, Jing Tan Dec 2015

Estimating The Water Quality Condition Of River And Lake Water In The Midwestern United States From Its Spectral Characteristics, Jing Tan

Open Access Dissertations

This study focuses on developing/calibrating remote sensing algorithms for water quality retrieval in Midwestern rivers and lakes. In the first part of this study, the spectral measurements collected using a hand-held spectrometer as well as water quality observations for the Wabash River and its tributary the Tippecanoe River in Indiana were used to develop empirical models for the retrieval of chlorophyll (chl) and total suspended solids (TSS). A method for removing sky and sun glint from field spectra for turbid inland waters was developed and tested. Empirical models were then developed using a subset of the field measurements with ...


International Water And Food Security Development: Performance Evaluation And Assessment Of Research Needs At Multiple Scales, Caitlin Anne Grady Apr 2015

International Water And Food Security Development: Performance Evaluation And Assessment Of Research Needs At Multiple Scales, Caitlin Anne Grady

Open Access Dissertations

Water and food security remain the top development challenges of the decade, and perhaps the century. Since the Millennium Development Goals were established in 2000, billions of people have obtained access to more food, better nutrition, improved water, and basic sanitation facilities worldwide. This progress has been accomplished through the dedication of international organizations, non-governmental organizations, country-level governments, private corporations, and individuals at international, regional, and local scales. Truly tremendous strides have been made in water and food provisioning for humans worldwide. These past two decades have also seen the largest population growth on record, the highest rates of childhood ...


Spatial Analysis Of Passenger Vehicle Use And Ownership And Its Impact On The Sustainability Of Highway Infrastructure Funding, Matthew Volovski Apr 2015

Spatial Analysis Of Passenger Vehicle Use And Ownership And Its Impact On The Sustainability Of Highway Infrastructure Funding, Matthew Volovski

Open Access Dissertations

Across the United States, the sustainability of highway funding is at risk due to increasing need and uncertainty in the factors that drive revenue. Past studies on highway funding sustainability have identified that the root cause of changing highway revenue are the shifts in social demographics and economic characteristics. Unfortunately, from the revenue perspective (the focus of this dissertation), the ability of previous research to account for these factors has been rather limited in two ways; first, the inability to accurately assess current regional vehicle use (a typical prerequisite for statistical modeling of highway revenues) due to difficulties associated with ...


Irrigation With Treated Wastewater: Potential And Limitations, Anne Dare Oct 2014

Irrigation With Treated Wastewater: Potential And Limitations, Anne Dare

Open Access Dissertations

As the world population increases and resources become more coveted, water emerges as a key component to global food security. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is among the driest regions in the world: containing just one percent of the world's freshwater resources. An increasing population creates greater quantities of wastewater and demands greater quantities of food, so an obvious connection arises. However logical wastewater reuse may be for bridging the irrigation supply-demand gap in this arid region, significant limitations prevent widespread adoption. The overall goal of this research is to take a holistic view of the limitations ...


A New Passive Surface Water Flux Meter For Simultaneous Measurement Of Contaminant And Water Fluxes In Streams And Rivers, Stephen A. Sassman Oct 2014

A New Passive Surface Water Flux Meter For Simultaneous Measurement Of Contaminant And Water Fluxes In Streams And Rivers, Stephen A. Sassman

Open Access Dissertations

A passive surface water flux meter (PSFM) for measurement of contaminant concentration/flux in rivers and streams is described and tested. The novel PSFM design was developed for portability and ease of adaptability for a variety of contaminant classes. Although previous designs have been evaluated under constant flow conditions, the PSFM has never been used for measurement of pesticides or hormones and this is the first time that it has been tested under transient flow. Discharge through the PSFM is assessed by measuring miscible displacement of alcohol tracers from granular activated carbon (GAC). The tracer retardation factors (R) measured by ...


An Analysis Of The Impact Of Storage Temperature, Moisture Content & Duration Upon The Chemical Components & Bioprocessing Of Lignocellulosic Biomass, Arun Athmanathan Oct 2013

An Analysis Of The Impact Of Storage Temperature, Moisture Content & Duration Upon The Chemical Components & Bioprocessing Of Lignocellulosic Biomass, Arun Athmanathan

Open Access Dissertations

The successful utilization of lignocellulosic biomass as a feedstock for fuels and chemicals necessitates storage for 2-6 months. It is correspondingly important to understand the impact of storage parameters - moisture concentration, temperature and duration - on biomass quality.

As aerobic storage is the most viable large-scale solution, aerobic storage experiments were carried out with three projected bioenergy feedstocks - sweet sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) bagasse, corn (Zea mays) stover and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). Stored samples of each were examined for dry matter loss and composition change to develop a material balance around carbohydrates and lignin.

A mean dry matter loss of 24% was ...


Energy Systems Analysis For A Solar Economy, Dharik Sanchan Mallapragada Oct 2013

Energy Systems Analysis For A Solar Economy, Dharik Sanchan Mallapragada

Open Access Dissertations

The use of solar energy for human needs faces challenges owing to its relatively low energy intensity and intermittent availability, coupled with the constrained availability of renewable carbon and land resources. This study uses systems analysis tools to identify carbon and energy efficient transformations of solar energy for different purposes, including transportation fuels and grid-scale energy storage. These efforts have been complemented with a feasibility analysis of existing fossil-energy and other hybrid pathways.

In an era of limited fossil resources, liquid fuels from sustainably available (SA) biomass could meet the energy needs of the transportation sector. We present a method ...


Redefining The Operation And Design Considerations Of Organic Solar Cells: Role Of Morphology And Defect States, Biswajit Ray Oct 2013

Redefining The Operation And Design Considerations Of Organic Solar Cells: Role Of Morphology And Defect States, Biswajit Ray

Open Access Dissertations

Organic photovoltaic (OPV) technology is currently a topic of great interest for potentially low cost solar energy conversion and possibility of many novel PV applications (e.g., building-integrated PV, portable solar cells). Successful commercialization of this technology, however, will require significant improvement in efficiency and lifetime. In the last few years, innovation in novel polymer synthesis has raised the efficiency of OPV above 10%, at par with a-Si and earth-abundant solar cells. Further improvement in performance relies on breakthroughs in device design, which requires profound understanding of the physics of device operation. A major challenge in the design of the ...


An Experimental Investigation Of Wind Turbine Aerodynamic Interaction, Brandon Lee Ennis Oct 2013

An Experimental Investigation Of Wind Turbine Aerodynamic Interaction, Brandon Lee Ennis

Open Access Dissertations

Wind turbines have become a viable component in the overall energy makeup of the United States due to improved economics where energy prices have risen and production costs dropped. For a fixed cost, the effectiveness of a wind turbine financially is highly related to its performance. Considering the size of current wind farms, a minor performance improvement will result in large additional sums of revenue. A problem that has received attention with wind farms is that while the fixed costs of the development do get spread out further to reduce the installed cost of each wind turbine, the wind turbines ...


Technology Agnostic Analysis And Design For Improved Performance, Variability, And Reliability In Thin Film Photovoltaics, Sourabh Dongaonkar Oct 2013

Technology Agnostic Analysis And Design For Improved Performance, Variability, And Reliability In Thin Film Photovoltaics, Sourabh Dongaonkar

Open Access Dissertations

Thin film photovoltaics (TFPV) offer low cost alternatives to conventional crystalline Silicon (c-Si) PV, and can enable novel applications of PV technology. Their large scale adoption however, requires significant improvements in process yield, and operational reliability. In order to address these challenges, comprehensive understanding of factors affecting panel yield, and predictive models of performance reliability are needed. This has proved to be especially challenging for TFPV for two reasons in particular. First, TFPV technologies encompass a wide variety of materials, processes, and structures, which fragments the research effort. Moreover, the monolithic manufacturing of TFPV modules differs significantly from that of ...


Direct And Indirect Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Biomass Storage: Implications For Life Cycle Assessment Of Biofuels, Isaac Robert Emery Oct 2013

Direct And Indirect Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Biomass Storage: Implications For Life Cycle Assessment Of Biofuels, Isaac Robert Emery

Open Access Dissertations

Ethanol and other biofuels from cellulosic feedstocks are currently the most promising candidates to replace a large fraction of gasoline consumption in the United States and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Gaps in current approaches to estimating the net greenhouse gas emissions from second-generation biofuels may lead to underestimation of the carbon intensity of these fuels. Current life cycle assessment models of biofuels do not sufficiently account for biomass losses and emissions associated with the harvest and storage of biomass feedstocks, which can require additional fuel and materials use on the farm as well as reducing the effective yield of a ...


Electric Machine Differential For Vehicle Traction Control And Stability Control, Sandun Shivantha Kuruppu Oct 2013

Electric Machine Differential For Vehicle Traction Control And Stability Control, Sandun Shivantha Kuruppu

Open Access Dissertations

Evolving requirements in energy efficiency and tightening regulations for reliable electric drivetrains drive the advancement of the hybrid electric (HEV) and full electric vehicle (EV) technology. Different configurations of EV and HEV architectures are evaluated for their performance. The future technology is trending towards utilizing distinctive properties in electric machines to not only to improve efficiency but also to realize advanced road adhesion controls and vehicle stability controls. Electric machine differential (EMD) is such a concept under current investigation for applications in the near future. Reliability of a power train is critical. Therefore, sophisticated fault detection schemes are essential in ...


Solar Cell Temperature Dependent Efficiency And Very High Temperature Efficiency Limits, John Robert Wilcox Oct 2013

Solar Cell Temperature Dependent Efficiency And Very High Temperature Efficiency Limits, John Robert Wilcox

Open Access Dissertations

Clean renewable solar energy is and will continue to be a critically important source of electrical energy. Solar energy has the potential of meeting all of the world's energy needs, and has seen substantial growth in recent years. Solar cells can convert sun light directly into electrical energy, and much progress has been made in making them less expensive and more efficient. Solar cells are often characterized and modeled at 25 °C, which is significantly lower than their peak operating temperature. In some thermal concentrating systems, solar cells operate above 300 °C. Since increasing the temperature drastically affects the ...


Developing A Framework For Determining The Contribution Of Transportation Project To Sustainable Development, Karim Ahmed Abdel Warith Oct 2013

Developing A Framework For Determining The Contribution Of Transportation Project To Sustainable Development, Karim Ahmed Abdel Warith

Open Access Dissertations

In the past few years, stakeholders in the transportation industry have been concerned with sustainability. However, transportation decision makers have had difficulty incorporating sustainability into transportation infrastructure decisions. This is mainly attributed to the vagueness of the term. Incorporating sustainability into transportation decision making has been a desire put forth by engineers for that past 10 years. However, with no apparent method of defining sustainability, designers and decision makers have not been able to fulfill this desire.

This investigation attempts to define sustainability in a comprehensive and quantitative manner. The research proposes a new methodology that relies on the objective ...