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Development of biocomposite for remediation of areas impacted by contaminants: optimization of the process and increased application coverage

Grant number: 21/04520-5
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: October 01, 2021 - September 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Microbiology - Applied Microbiology
Principal Investigator:Ana Paula Justiniano Régo
Grantee:Ana Paula Justiniano Régo
Host Company:Justy Biosolutions Ltda
CNAE: Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
Atividades de ensino não especificadas anteriormente
City: Piracicaba
Associated researchers: Carlos Armenio Khatounian ; Marta Siviero Guilherme Pires ; Valdemar Luiz Tornisielo
Associated research grant:18/01145-6 - Development of biocomposite for remediation of areas impacted by contaminants, AP.PIPE
Associated scholarship(s):21/14270-6 - Development of biocomposite for remediation of areas impacted by contaminants: optimization of the process and increased application coverage, BP.PIPE


The Brazil has a history of toxic metal contamination, such as the episode that occurred with the collapse of the Vale do Rio Doce dams in 2015 and 2019, causing intense metal contamination, affecting ecosystems and local populations. In industrial areas there are records in Organs environmental agencies of soil contamination by metals, resulting in assessments. In areas of agricultural production, with a history of chemical fertilizer applications, metals may accumulate in the soil, as is the case with cadmium, as metals can appear in the composition of fertilizers, especially in phosphate fertilizers. The results obtained in Phase 1 of the PIPE Program proved that the application of the biocomposite was effective in the process of remediation of soils contaminated by toxic metals, resulting in a decrease in concentration of 88.79% for aluminum, 67.54% for lead, 24, 03% for cadmium and 23.89% for chromium, in the period of 35 days, favoring the decontamination of this soil. In addition, its application resulted in an increase in CO2 generation, in the quantification of colony units per gram of soil (CFU / g of soil), and in a decrease in ecotoxicity for terrestrial organisms. There was also no leaching and no detection of caffeine contents, as well as a reduction in the loss of macro and micronutrient contents due to leaching, in treatments with applications of biocomposite, maximizing its fertilizing effect. In the agricultural area, the application of the biocomposite was able to increase the productivity of the crops of corn, beans and Brachiaria brizantha, there was also no detection of toxic metals in samples of leaves and grains, in soil with application of the product, proving its remedial character and fertilizer. The present project presents the proposal to optimize the biocomposite development process and foresees an increase in the scope of application in soils contaminated by toxic metals. To overcome the challenges of Phase 2, the project will be carried out through the validation of the remediation of soils containing high levels of contamination, as well as the application in different agricultural crops. Thus, the development of biocomposite with the potential to remedy areas contaminated by toxic metals is extremely important and necessary, and it is essential to continue investigating this potential, as this product is essential for the environmental and agricultural market, since it represents the opportunity to restore soil quality in a sustainable manner and can promote increased productivity in affected locations. The challenge to be overcome in Phase 2 of the project includes carrying out activities to validate the remediation process with the application of biocomposite in soils contaminated by toxic metals, improving: the optimization and control of the biocomposite development process; acting in the process of remediation of soils contaminated by toxic metals (cadmium, lead, chromium and aluminum); the beneficial effect on the microbiome through ecotoxicology tests with the organisms Folsomia candida and Eisenia fetida over the time of the remediation process; and the evaluation of the agronomic effectiveness of agricultural soils, treated with the biocomposite, in soybean, wheat, Brachiaria decumbens, corn and beans. Molecular assays, phylogenetic analysis of the bacterial isolate found and analysis of the microbial community of the soil treated with biocomposite will also be carried out. Thus, after obtaining and statistical processing of the analytical data, it will be possible to validate and conclude on the effectiveness of the biocomposite in the process of remediation of soils contaminated by toxic metals, and to prove that there was no dilution but the remediation process, and the opportunity the use of the organic substrates resulting in the market, offering quality to the soil and ecosystem services, as well as safe food for the final consumer. (AU)

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