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Simultaneous biodegradation of nonylphenol ethoxylated and linear alkylbenzene sulfonated in anaerobic fluidized bed reactor

Grant number: 19/04205-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2020
Effective date (End): March 14, 2024
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering - Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment
Principal Investigator:Maria Bernadete Amâncio Varesche
Grantee:Henrique de Souza Dornelles
Host 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
Associated scholarship(s):21/14384-1 - Meta-omics characterization of simultaneous surfactants biodegradation in anaerobic fluidized bed reactor applied for co-digestion of domestic sewage plus laundry wastewater, BE.EP.DR


Surfactants are economically important products and extensively applied in a wide range of products, such as synthesis of industrial and commercial surfactants, general cleaning products, pesticides, textiles, personal care products, polymers, paints, pulp and paper industry and recovery water of oil. Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate (LAS) is the most widely used surfactant worldwide, while Nonylphenol ethoxylate (NFe) is another surfactant primarily used for industrial purposes and the main byproduct of its degradation is 4-Nonylphenol (4-NF). 4-NF is a xenobiotic compound classified as an endocrine disruptor and interferes with the hormonal system of several organisms. The LAS and NFe reach the sewage treatment stations (ETS), where they are biodegraded in several by-products, more toxic than their precursors. Thus, the presence of these compounds in surface waters is directly related to anthropogenic activities. Considering the excellent removal efficiencies of LAS surfactants and Linear Alcohol Ethoxylated (LAE) in Anaerobic Fluidized Bed Reactors developed at the Laboratory of Biological Processes (LPB-EESC-USP), the present work intends to investigate the degradation of commercial NFe and LAS in Anaerobic Fluidized Bed Reactor (RALF) in synthetic sewage and codigestion in complex real matrices, as well as to identify the microbial populations responsible for this degradation. The degradation and removal of the compounds will be evaluated in RALF in two independent stages, being: step 1 - test of support materials; step 2 - test of cosubstrates. RALF will be used on a bench scale, and in step 3 an RALF will be used on an increased scale. Sand and Kaldness will be used as support materials in step 1. The cosubstrates tested in step 2 will be ethanol and sodium fumarate. In all stages the Hidraulic Retention Time (HRT) will be 18h. Physico-chemical analyzes of pH, alkalinity, volatile organic acids, Chemical Oxygen Demand, NFe and LAS will be performed during the monitoring of the reactors in the two stages proposed. To evaluate the microbial diversity of the RALF biofilm, the PCR/DGGE technique and the metagenomic characterization using the Illumina HiSeq platform will be used. (AU)

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