UTSA Alamo CIMA Mentor
Dr. Heather Shipley
Engineered Nano Embedded Zeolites for Enhanced Removal of Water Pollutants
Inorganic contamination of surface water and groundwater supplies is an emerging environmental and public health concern. Metals can enter the water supply through the natural erosion of soil and rocks; however, the majority of metal pollution comes from anthropogenic sources such as industrial, agriculture, mining, e-waste, and military operations. Higher concentrations of Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn, and As all pose potential health risks. This research studies two types of nanoparticle systems: 1) nano titanium dioxide (TiO2) and 2) nano titanium dioxide/molybdenum disulfide nanosheets (TiO2/MoS2) into zeolites and examine how these materials remove Pb, Cd, As, NO3, PO4, methyl orange and phenol from water using flow through column experiments. These materials have the potential to improve water quality through enhanced adsorption, selectivity, and kinetics; help with compliance of state and federal drinking water regulations; and reduce treatment costs.
Quorum Sensing of Microbial Communities
One of the main causes of economic losses to the petroleum industry is metal corrosion caused by microbiological activity in addition for water treatment membrane fouling can occur to do microbes. There is inadequate understanding of the microbial species or mechanisms that influence microbial corrosion/biofilm production and even less on methods to detect or prevent it. The goal of this project is to perform quorum sensing pathways in order to develop applications to regulate biofilm formation.
Implementation of a Low Impact Development Test Bed at The University of Texas at San Antonio Main Campus (with Dr. Marcio Giacomoni)
Land use change and urbanization alters the natural flow regime of watersheds, impacting the environment and ecosystems. When the natural land cover is transformed to parking lots, rooftops, roads, and sidewalks, impervious covers decrease the natural infiltration rates and increase the runoff generation substantially. As urbanization increases so does the negative impacts of stormwater. Therefore, new research is needed to create sustainable urban water systems and management. In order to make these systems sustainable multi-faceted approaches are needed that incorporate technical, scientific, economic, social and environmental knowledge. This projects focuses on implementing a LID test bed to assess the stormwater treatment of bioretentions and sand filter basins at The University of Texas at San Antonio main campus.