Hannah Ray

Mentor: Dr. Treavor Boyer
College of University of Florida
 
"We hear all about the environmental problems our world is facing in our classes everyday, but I wanted to be a part of a group that is trying to find ways to make change and solve these problems. This is exactly what I found in my research group."

Major

Environmental Engineering

Minor

N/A

Research Interests

  • Urea Hydrolysis
  • Urine Source Separation
  • Nutrient Recycling

Academic Awards

  • University Scholar (2015)
  • Third Place ESSIE Poster Competition (2015)

Organizations

  • Gator Christian Life

Volunteer

  • S.O.S. Ministries

Hobbies and Interests

  • Reading My Bible
  • Traveling
  • Eating Dessert
  • Spending Time with Good Friends

Research Description

The Characterization and Manipulation of Urea Hydrolysis for the Purpose of Nutrient Recycling
Phosphorous and nitrogen are invaluable nutrients that comprise a large portion of the nutrients found in typical wastewater. Treating urine separately through urine source separation allows for these nutrients to be recycled into urine based fertilizer. Urine source separation will require technologies to collect the urine undiluted by water such as waterless urinals and NoMix toilets. However, waterless urinals are experiencing great difficulty in functioning correctly due to the urea hydrolysis reaction that is occurring within the waterless urinal. Urea hydrolysis produces ammonia and bicarbonates which clog the urinal and produce undesired odors. This results in frequent maintenance and even removal of the technology. The goal of this research is to provide an improved understanding of urea hydrolysis and its inhibition with respect to engineered systems. The specific objectives for this research were to (1) quantify urea hydrolysis though the measurements of pH, conductivity, ammonia concentration, and urea concentration, (2) inhibit urea hydrolysis though various chemical additions, (3a) repeat quantification and inhibition with real fresh urine using the Jack bean form of urease, (3b) repeat quantification and inhibition with real fresh urine using hydrolyzed urine as a form of urease.