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Modelling and optimization of anaerobic processes for treating wastewater containing sulfamethazine

Grant number: 16/15003-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2016
Effective date (End): November 30, 2020
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering - Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment
Principal researcher:Marcelo Zaiat
Grantee:Rafael Frederico Fonseca
Home Institution: Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/06246-7 - Biorefinery concept applied to biological wastewater treatment plants: environmental pollution control coupled with material and energy recovery, AP.TEM


The antibiotics are the most successful drug Family employed in the improvement of human health. These drugs also have been extensively used in animal husbandry, as for veterinary treatment, as for feeding enhancement. With both human and livestock population growing, more of these substance are been consumed, meanwhile a significant part of them are excreted in its original form. The main risk associated with the extensive use of antibiotics is the development of resistant bacteria strains, which can signify hazardous for human and animal health. For this reason, it is important to develop and optimize anaerobic wastewater treatment processes containing these drugs. In this project, mathematical models will be elaborated in order to represent the biodegradation of sulphametazine, an antibiotic commonly used to animal feeding improvement. Furthermore, the biodegradation process will be modelled in two distinct reactor: an up-flow sludge bed and in a horizontal fixed bed, concerning the simulation of several constructive changes in both, proposed by optimization methodologies, in order to maximize as the wastewater volume treated, as the sulphametanize removal. Finally, a graphical user interface will be developed to provide a tool for simulating reactor geometrical and feeding changes and possible system failure. So that, the user can view and analyze the effects of these variables in the process.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
FONSECA, RAFAEL FREDERICO; DE OLIVEIRA, GUILHERME HENRIQUE DUARTE; ZAIAT, MARCELO. Modeling anaerobic digestion metabolic pathways for antibiotic-contaminated wastewater treatment. BIODEGRADATION, v. 31, n. 4-6, p. 341-368, DEC 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
FONSECA, RAFAEL FREDERICO; DUARTE DE OLIVEIRA, GUILHERME HENRIQUE; ZAIAT, MARCELO. Development of a mathematical model for the anaerobic digestion of antibiotic-contaminated wastewater. CHEMICAL ENGINEERING RESEARCH & DESIGN, v. 134, p. 319-335, JUN 2018. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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