Institute for Environmental and Industrial Science

EPA Grant Number: R825503
Center: The Waste Minimization And Management Research Center
Center Director: Cassidy, Patrick E.
Title: Institute for Environmental and Industrial Science
Investigators: Cassidy, Patrick E. , Venumbaka, S R
Institution: Texas State University
EPA Project Officer: Klieforth, Barbara I
Project Period: March 1, 1998 through February 28, 2003
Project Amount: $2,922,066
RFA: Targeted Research Center (1998) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Targeted Research

Objective:

The Waste Minimization and Management Research Center (WMMRC) exists as a major entity within the Technology Development Branch of the Institute for Environmental and Industrial Science (IEIS) on the campus of Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. The IEIS applies the multidisciplinary scientific and technological expertise of this hundred-year-old university to the solution of industrial and environmental problems. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provided primary funding for the WMMRC. The original 2-year grant of 1.25 million, awarded in February, 1998 initiated Phase I; this was followed by a second award of approximately 1.75 million which supported research through February 2003.

The WMMRC's mission is to apply the multidisciplinary scientific and technological expertise of Southwest Texas State University toward the utilization and mitigation of waste, through the identification and optimization of resources and processes for the Texas petrochemical industry. The WMMRC will facilitate the formation of industrial partnerships to ensure that the concepts developed will be effective, and therefore, implemented.

The WMMRC's short-term goal is to provide a small-scale laboratory to research and develop improved processes and methods for waste minimization and management.

The WMMRC's long-term goals are to: (1) Develop industrial partnerships and be a self-sufficient national research center. (2) Focus on the product of research rather than on research alone. (3) Provide an educated and trained workforce for Texas industry. (4) Educate people on waste minimization and management. (5) Create supercritical fluid technology base for chemical processes. (6) Provide information on industrial waste components. (7) Develop recyclable (polymeric) products.

Approach:

The WMMRC's short-term goal is to provide a small-scale laboratory to research and develop improved processes and methods for waste minimization and management.

The WMMRC's long-term goals are to: (1) Develop industrial partnerships and be a self-sufficient national research center. (2) Focus on the product of research rather than on research alone. (3) Provide an educated and trained workforce for Texas industry. (4) Educate people on waste minimization and management. (5) Create supercritical fluid technology base for chemical processes. (6) Provide information on industrial waste components. (7) Develop recyclable (polymeric) products.

Shortly after funding, two business planning sessions involving key WMMRC personnel and Principal Investigators were held for the purpose of strategic planning. Through an assessment of our strengths, we identified three resource areas with the capability to address utilization and mitigation of waste in the Texas petrochemical industry. Our present areas of expertise, all branches of macromolecular science, include:

Analytical Technology

  • characterization of macromolecules
  • separation science

Polymer Science

  • synthesis
  • characterization
  • recycling
  • processing

Biotechnology Science

  • bioremediation
  • biomodification

We then graphically envisioned the Center's relationship to the Texas petrochemical industry as a three-branched resource under the heading of Macromolecular Science.

The Center's relationship to the Texas petrochemical industry

The project entitled Separation and Analysis of Non-Volatiles in Petroleum Industry Products falls under the Analytical Technology branch. The Polymer Science branch covers the other active projects: Reduction/Elimination of Industrial Wastes Using Super-critical CO2 as a Medium for Addition and Condensation Polymerizations and Preparation of Interpenetrating Networks and Waste Minimization and Management of Low-Quality, By-Product Thermoplastics. Two additional projects proposed and funded for Phase II are part of the Biotechnology Science segment. This method of organization, centered on our areas of established expertise, helps clarify the relationship between independent projects and shows how each project complements the Center's focus of Macromolecular Science to address waste minimization and management in the Texas petrochemical industry. Future research projects will reflect and grow from this vision.

Expected Results:

The results are provided below following a description of the individual research projects arising from our expertise in analytical technology, polymer science and biotechnology are summarized below.

Separation and Analysis of Non-volatiles in Petroleum Industry Products. The goal of this project is to develop protocols for the fractionation, and investigate new methods for the analysis of non-volatiles (e.g., naphthenic acids and polyaromatic sulfur heterocycles) in petroleum fractions. In particular, the use of the emerging technique of liquid chromatography/ atmospheric pressure ionization/ mass spectrometry should lead to the identification and analysis of previously inaccessible constituents (e.g., naphthenic acids and polyaromatic sulfur heterocycles) present in petroleum fractions.

Some of the results include:

  • Fractionated and analyzed a Maya crude oil.
  • Developed both liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis methods for the analysis of organosulfur heterocycles.
  • Developed tandem mass spectrometry methods for the analysis of naphthenic acids and organosulfur heterocycles.
  • Determined the mechanism of formation of organosulfur radical cations in an electrospray ionization source.

Reduction/Elimination of Industrial Wastes Using Supercritical CO2 as a Medium for Addition and Condensation Polymerizations and Preparation of Interpenetrating Polymer Networks. The objectives of this project are to investigate the factors affecting addition polymerizations in SC CO2, to investigate the preparation of condensation polymers in SC CO2, and to investigate the preparation of interpenetrating polymer networks (IPNs) by using an SCF-infusion/polymerization strategy.

Summary of results:

  • Results indicated that the supercritical carbon dioxide can be used an alternative reaction medium for polymer synthesis and processing.
  • SC CO2 can be used in the production of high-performance composite materials from relatively inexpensive plastics by modifying their internal and surface structure.

Waste Minimization and Management of Thermoplastics. This program goal is to develop the chemistry and engineering for value-added plastic blends from waste streams, and to provide research that promotes recycling of plastic blends.

Summary of results:

  • Recycled aPP/HDPE
  • Adhesives from recycled PVB
  • ABS/MMT blends for recyclable computer housings

Defining the Specificity of the Aromatic Desulfinase. The objective of this research is to better understand the specificity of the Rhodococcus sp. IGTS8 desulfurization system by cataloguing the range of organosulfur compounds that are amenable to bioremediation.

Effective Control of Biofilms in the Petrochemical Industry. The objective of this research is to employ naturally-occurring bacterial cell or all density quorum signal molecules to detect and control a surface-adherent (biofilm) bacteria.

Summary of results:

  • Quorum signal molecules may represent a novel technology for controlling the species composition within a biofilm.

Collaborations and Technology Transfer. The IEIS enjoys collaboration with other universities and government agencies such as the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, University of Maine, the U. S. Air Force, Navy, NASA, FAA, NIST, and numerous private companies including Systems and Materials Research Consultancy, Texas Research Institute, and Southern Clay Products. These relationships are both enhanced and informed by the activities of the WMMRC. Twenty six Collaborations have occurred because of these visits, five with higher education institutes and twenty one with industrial partners.

Dissemination of the results of our research is carried out in two major efforts. One is the obvious writing and presenting of papers at technical/professional meetings. To this end we have, presented several papers (See Bibliography).

Another avenue of technology transfer exists in our collaboration with industrial partners, and also with other universities. We have, to date, made on-site visits to several industries including the following companies, or have met with their representatives at our facility:

  • Alcoa Alumina & Chemicals, L.L.C., Point Comfort, TX
  • BP Chemicals Inc., Port Lavaca, TX
  • The Dow Chemical Company, Freeport, TX
  • DuPont Chemicals and Intermediates, Victoria, TX
  • DuPont-Dow Elastomers Company, Freeport, TX
  • Energy BioSystems Corporation, The Woodlands, TX
  • Exxon Chemical Company, Baytown, TX
  • Exxon Company, Clifton, NJ
  • Formosa Plastics Corporation, Point Comfort, TX
  • Huntsman Corporation, Austin, TX
  • The Inteplast Group, Lolita, TX
  • NCH Corporation, Irving, TX
  • NexCycle, Inc., Irving, TX
  • NURESCO Polymers, Inc., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • PEAR Industries, Inc., Ontario, Canada
  • Southern Clay Products, Inc. Gonzales, TX
  • Union Carbide Corporation, Port Lavaca, TX

These visits have proven extremely successful in providing an exchange of information and ideas. Some have led to partnerships within the Center; others hold promising prospects for future collaboration.


Journal Articles: 27 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other center views: All 63 publications 32 publications in selected types All 27 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Adams JL, McLean RJC. Impact of rpoS deletion on Escherichia coli biofilms. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 1999;65(9):4285-4287. R825503 (Final)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Journal Article Aminabhavi TM, Rudzinski WE, Kulkarni PV, Antich P, Soppimath KS, Kulkarni AR. Polymeric membranes. Polymer News 2000;25(11):382-384. R825503 (Final)
  • Other: Informaworld
    Exit
  • Journal Article Balzer GJ, McLean RJC. The stringent response genes relA and spoT are important for Escherichia coli biofilms under slow-growth conditions. Canadian Journal of Microbiology 2002;48(7):675-680. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: NRC
    Exit
  • Journal Article Corbin BD, McLean RJC, Aron GM. Bacteriophage T4 multiplication in a glucose-limited Escherichia coli biofilm. Canadian Journal of Microbiology 2001;47(7):680-684. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: NRC
    Exit
  • Journal Article Green JW, Rubal MJ, Osman BM, Welsch RL, Cassidy PE, Fitch JW, Blanda MT. Silicon-organic hybrid polymers and composites prepared in supercritical carbon dioxide. Polymers for Advanced Technologies 2000;11(8-12):820-825. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract: Wiley InterScience
    Exit
  • Journal Article Hu XC, Blanda MT, Venumbaka SR, Cassidy PE. Ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of norbornene in supercritical carbon dioxide using well-defined metal carbene catalysts. Polymers for Advanced Technologies 2005;16(2-3):146-149. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract: Wiley InterScience
    Exit
  • Journal Article Hughes EJ, McLean RJC. Illustrating the role of latex gloves as barriers to bacterial and viral pathogens. Journal of College Science Teaching 1999;28(4):259. R825503 (Final)
    not available
    Journal Article Kirkland BL, Lynch FL, Rahnis MA, Folk RL, Molineux IJ, McLean RJC. Alternative origins for nannobacteria-like objects in calcite. Geology 1999;27(4):347-350. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract: Geology
    Exit
  • Journal Article Koenig MK, McLean RJC. Influence of metal ions and temperature on the conformation of Escherichia coli K1 capsular polysaccharide. BioMetals 1999;12(1):47-52. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: SpringerLink
    Exit
  • Journal Article McLean RJC, Whiteley M, Hoskins BC, Majors PD, Sharma MM. Laboratory techniques for studying biofilm growth, physiology, and gene expression in flowing systems and porous media. Methods in Enzymology 1999;310:248-264. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: Science Direct
    Exit
  • Journal Article McLean RJC. Original research projects as a major component of an undergraduate microbiology course. Journal of the College of Science Teaching 1999;29(1):38-40. R825503 (Final)
    not available
    Journal Article McLean RJC, Corbin BD, Balzer GJ, Aron GM. [16] Phenotype characterization of genetically defined microorganisms and growth of bacteriophage in biofilms. Methods in Enzymology 2001;336:163-174. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: Science Direct
    Exit
  • Journal Article McLean RJC, Cassanto JM, Barnes MB, Koo JH. Bacterial biofilm formation under microgravity conditions. FEMS Microbiology Letters 2001;195(2):115-119. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: Wiley
    Exit
  • Other: Wiley
    Exit
  • Journal Article Morris NS, Stickler DJ, McLean RJC. The development of bacterial biofilms on indwelling urethral catheters. World Journal of Urology 1999;17(6):345-350. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: Springerlink
    Exit
  • Journal Article Persaud AT, Beauchemin D, Jamieson HE, McLean RJC. Partial leaching as an aid to slurry nebulization for the analysis of soils by ICP-MS with flow injection and mixed-gas plasmas. Canadian Journal of Chemistry 1999;77(4):409-415. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract: NRC
    Exit
  • Journal Article Prabakharan S, Teichman JMH, Spore SS, Sabanegh E, Glickman RD, McLean RJC. Proteus mirabilis viability after lithotripsy of struvite calculi. Journal of Urology 1999;162(5):1666-1669. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: Science Direct
    Exit
  • Journal Article Rudzinski WE, Aminabhavi TM. A review on extraction and identification of crude oil and related products using supercritical fluid technology. Energy & Fuels 2000;14(2):464-475. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract: ACS
    Exit
  • Journal Article Rudzinski WE, Aminabhavi TM, Sassman S, Watkins LM. Isolation and characterization of the saturate and aromatic fractions of a Maya crude oil. Energy & Fuels 2000;14(4):839-844. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract: ACS
    Exit
  • Journal Article Rudzinski WE, Aminabhavi TM. Polymer analysis using gel permeation chromatography/electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Polymer News 2000;25(6):213-214. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract: CSA
    Exit
  • Journal Article Rudzinski WE, Aminabhavi TM. Supercritical fluid technology in polymerisation reactions. Polymer News 2000;25(2):68-69. R825503 (Final)
  • Other:
    Exit
  • Journal Article Rudzinski WE, Kariduraganavar MY, Aminabhavi TM. Effective recycling of scrap rubber tires - alternative solutions. Polymer News 2001;26(11):392-396. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract: Google Books
    Exit
  • Journal Article Rudzinski WE, Oehlers L, Zhang Y, Najera B. Tandem mass spectrometric characterization of commercial naphthenic acids and a Maya crude oil. Energy & Fuels 2002;16(5):1178-1185. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract: ACS
    Exit
  • Journal Article Rudzinski WE, Zhang Y, Luo X. Mass spectrometry of polyaromatic sulfur compounds in the presence of palladium (II). Journal of Mass Spectrometry 2003;38(2):167-173. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: Wiley InterScience
    Exit
  • Journal Article Rudzinski WE, Chipuk T, Dave AM, Kumbar SG, Aminabhavi TM. pH sensitive acrylic-based copolymeric hydrogels for the controlled release of a pesticide and a micronutrient. Journal of Applied Polymer Science 2003;87(3):394-403. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract: Wiley InterScience
    Exit
  • Journal Article Shaker ZG, Browne RM, Stretz HA, Cassidy PE, Blanda MT. Epoxy-toughened, unsaturated polyester interpenetrating networks. Journal of Applied Polymer Science 2002;84(12):2283-2286. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract: Wiley InterScience
    Exit
  • Journal Article Soppimath KS, Aminabhavi TM, Kulkarni AR, Rudzinski WE. Biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles as drug delivery devices. Journal of Controlled Release 2001;70(1-2):1-20. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract: Science Direct
    Exit
  • Journal Article Whiteley M, Ott JR, Weaver EA, McLean RJC. Effects of community composition and growth rate on aquifer biofilm bacteria and their susceptibility to betadine disinfection. Environmental Microbiology 2001;3(1):43-52. R825503 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Abstract: Wiley InterScience
    Exit
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    Pollution Prevention, Waste Minimization, Sustainable Industry, supercritical fluid technology, industrial waste, recycling, polymeric products, biotechnology, bioremediation, macromolecular science, Petroleum Industry, biofilm, Texas, RFA, Scientific Discipline, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, TREATMENT/CONTROL, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, waste reduction, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Treatment Technologies, Technology, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, biofilm, cleaner production, sustainable development, waste minimization, supercritical carbon dioxide, biotechnology, supercritical fluid reaction media, polymer design, alternative chemical synthesis

    Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1998
  • 1999
  • 2000
  • 2001
  • Final Report
  • Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R825503C001 Separation and Analysis of Non-Volatiles in Petroleum Industry Products
    R825503C002 Reduction/Elimination of Industrial Wastes Using Supercritical CO2 as a Medium for Addition and Condensation Polymerizations and Preparation of Interpenetrating Polymer Networks
    R825503C003 Waste Minimization and Management of Thermoplastics
    R825503C004 Effective Control of Biofilms in the Petrochemical Industry
    R825503C005 Collaborations and Technology Transfer