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Environmental fate of emerging pollutants in surface waters and sustainable alternatives for their mitigation: a hybrid experimental & theoretical approach

Grant number: 19/24158-9
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: November 01, 2020 - October 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Chemical Engineering - Chemical Process Industries
Cooperation agreement: CONFAP - National Council of State Research Support Foundations
Principal researcher:Antonio Carlos Silva Costa Teixeira
Grantee:Antonio Carlos Silva Costa Teixeira
Home Institution: Escola Politécnica (EP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Arlen Mabel Lastre Acosta ; Bruno Ramos ; Luciano Ribeiro ; Nayara Dantas Coutinho ; Paulo de Sousa Carvalho Júnior ; Renato Rosseto

Abstract

Micro-pollutants of emerging concern have imposed a major technological challenge: pesticides, drugs and other anthropogenic substances are increasingly found in aquatic ecosystems and even in water supply, being related to adverse effects on biota and human health. Overcoming this challenge requires understanding the behavior of these species in the environment and the development of technologies that allow for minimizing their emission into water bodies. Viable alternatives should include the use of solar radiation, easily scalable photochemical reactors, and efficient and sustainable catalysts. In this direction, we highlight the main proposals of this project, such as (i) evaluation of the environmental persistence of emerging contaminants in the state of Goias; (ii) determination of their degradation pathway, and characterisation of their products, in surface waters from that state; (iii) development of sustainable processes for the removal of these pollutants prior to their final disposal; and (iv) development of new computational tools capable of predicting the half-life of an emerging pollutant in surface water bodies. In order to mitigate experimental costs and lead to a detailed understanding of molecular reactive channels, the determinant steps of degradation processes will be modeled using quantum computational chemistry and Transition State Theory methods. In a context where the states of São Paulo and Goiás are national leaders in the industrial and agricultural sectors, this project intends to bring original scientific and technological contributions, given the growing concern about the quality of Brazilian water resources. (AU)

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