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Operational viability of an AnSBBR in the treatment of sewage: diclofenac and ibuprofen removal

Grant number: 22/05522-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2022
Effective date (End): March 31, 2026
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering - Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment
Principal Investigator:José Alberto Domingues Rodrigues
Grantee:Ana Paula Paoli
Host Institution: Escola de Engenharia Mauá (EEM). Instituto Mauá de Tecnologia. São Caetano do Sul , SP, Brazil


The occurrence of drugs such as diclofenac and ibuprofen, two of the most prescribed drugs worldwide, in wastewater and treated water has increased significantly in recent decades. Two important facts have contributed to this problem and made it a growing concern: first, improved quantification technologies have given researchers the ability to measure low concentrations; second, its consumption has rapidly increased. The detection of these emerging contaminants in treatment plants indicates the ineffectiveness of the treatment systems currently employed and, therefore, they can cause adverse effects on human health and aquatic ecosystem. A technology that has already proven to be efficient in the treatment of different types of wastewater and is a suitable alternative for the removal of such drugs is anaerobic digestion, which requires less energy and has a lower cost compared to other methods. For this purpose, anaerobic bioreactors operated in sequential batches have been studied by the research group of the Mauá Institute of Technology for two decades and have shown promising results obtained on lab-scale. The main advantages of this type of bioreactor are its simplicity; better solids retention; and high efficiency of organic matter removal. In this context, the present project aims at the operational viability of an anaerobic sequencing batch and fed-batches biofilm reactor (AnSBBR) in the treatment of sewage for the removal of diclofenac and ibuprofen. The variables studied will be feeding strategy; cycle time; temperature; and co-digestion over system stability and performance regarding substrate and micropollutants conversion, methane productivity and yield. In addition, fundamental aspects intrinsic to the process will be evaluated, such as: stoichiometry; kinetic model; thermodynamics; and molecular biology. (AU)

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