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  1. Fugitive methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills constitute one of the major anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the atmosphere. In recent years, biocovers involving the addition of organic-rich amendments to landfill cover soils is proposed to promote microbial oxidation of CH4 to CO2. However, most of the organic amendments used have limitations. Biochar, a solid byproduct obtained from gasification of biomass under anoxic or low oxygen conditions, has characteristics that are favorable for enhanced microbial oxidation in landfill covers. Recent investigations have shown the significant potential of biochar-amended cover soils in mitigating the CH4 emissions from MSW landfills. Although the CH4 emissions are mitigated, there is still considerable amount of CO2 that is emitted to the atmosphere as a result of microbial oxidation of CH4 in landfill covers as well as the CO2 derived from MSW decomposition. Basic oxygen furnace (BOF) slag is a product of steel making has great potential for CO2 sequestration due to its strong alkaline buffering and high carbonation capacity. In an ongoing project, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the potential use of BOF slag in landfill covers along with biochar-amended soils to mitigate both CH4 and CO2 emissions is being investigated. This paper presents the initial results from this study and it includes detailed physical and chemical and leachability characteristics of BOF slag, and a series of batch tests conducted on BOF slag to determine its CH4 and CO2 uptake capacity. The effect of moisture content on the carbonation capacity of BOF slag was also evaluated by conducting batch tests at different moisture contents. In addition, small column experiments were conducted to evaluate the gas migration, transport parameters and the CO2 sequestration potential of BOF slag under simulated landfill gas conditions. The result from the batch and column tests show a significant uptake of CO2 by BOF slag for the tested conditions and demonstrates excellent potential for its use in a landfill cover system. 
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  2. Abstract

    We search for gravitational-wave (GW) transients associated with fast radio bursts (FRBs) detected by the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment Fast Radio Burst Project, during the first part of the third observing run of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo (2019 April 1 15:00 UTC–2019 October 1 15:00 UTC). Triggers from 22 FRBs were analyzed with a search that targets both binary neutron star (BNS) and neutron star–black hole (NSBH) mergers. A targeted search for generic GW transients was conducted on 40 FRBs. We find no significant evidence for a GW association in either search. Given the large uncertainties in the distances of our FRB sample, we are unable to exclude the possibility of a GW association. Assessing the volumetric event rates of both FRB and binary mergers, an association is limited to 15% of the FRB population for BNS mergers or 1% for NSBH mergers. We report 90% confidence lower bounds on the distance to each FRB for a range of GW progenitor models and set upper limits on the energy emitted through GWs for a range of emission scenarios. We find values of order 1051–1057erg for models with central GW frequencies in the range 70–3560 Hz. At the sensitivity of this search, we find these limits to be above the predicted GW emissions for the models considered. We also find no significant coincident detection of GWs with the repeater, FRB 20200120E, which is the closest known extragalactic FRB.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 28, 2024
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
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  5. Abstract Isolated neutron stars that are asymmetric with respect to their spin axis are possible sources of detectable continuous gravitational waves. This paper presents a fully coherent search for such signals from eighteen pulsars in data from LIGO and Virgo’s third observing run (O3). For known pulsars, efficient and sensitive matched-filter searches can be carried out if one assumes the gravitational radiation is phase-locked to the electromagnetic emission. In the search presented here, we relax this assumption and allow both the frequency and the time derivative of the frequency of the gravitational waves to vary in a small range around those inferred from electromagnetic observations. We find no evidence for continuous gravitational waves, and set upper limits on the strain amplitude for each target. These limits are more constraining for seven of the targets than the spin-down limit defined by ascribing all rotational energy loss to gravitational radiation. In an additional search, we look in O3 data for long-duration (hours–months) transient gravitational waves in the aftermath of pulsar glitches for six targets with a total of nine glitches. We report two marginal outliers from this search, but find no clear evidence for such emission either. The resulting duration-dependent strain upper limits do not surpass indirect energy constraints for any of these targets. 
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  6. Abstract We search for gravitational-wave signals associated with gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) detected by the Fermi and Swift satellites during the second half of the third observing run of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo (2019 November 1 15:00 UTC–2020 March 27 17:00 UTC). We conduct two independent searches: a generic gravitational-wave transients search to analyze 86 GRBs and an analysis to target binary mergers with at least one neutron star as short GRB progenitors for 17 events. We find no significant evidence for gravitational-wave signals associated with any of these GRBs. A weighted binomial test of the combined results finds no evidence for subthreshold gravitational-wave signals associated with this GRB ensemble either. We use several source types and signal morphologies during the searches, resulting in lower bounds on the estimated distance to each GRB. Finally, we constrain the population of low-luminosity short GRBs using results from the first to the third observing runs of Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo. The resulting population is in accordance with the local binary neutron star merger rate. 
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