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Geophysical/geoelectrical signature in an area under controlled vinasse disposal

Abstract

Brazil is the world's largest producer of sugar and second largest producer of ethanol. For the 2010/2011 season, we expect about 38.7 million tons of sugar and 28.5 billion liters of ethanol. In the process of ethanol distillation residues are generated, among which figures the vinasse. This is a waste liquid, corrosive, unpleasant odor and high electrical conductivity, biochemical oxygen demand and chemical oxygen demand, making it highly polluting. For each liter of ethanol produced, about 13 liters of vinasse are generated. Due to its chemical composition (rich in potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, sulfate, zinc, iron, manganese and copper), the stillage is widely used as fertilizer in the sugarcane plantations and, depending on the dose applied, can act as a contaminant soil and groundwater. In studies of environmental impacts caused by various types of contaminants, it is quite common to use geophysical methods, they offer low operating costs, high reliability of results and speed of execution. However, there is little scientific / academic approach to the use of geoelectrical methods in the evaluation of areas contaminated by the use of vinasse incriterioso. Thus, this project is proposed to characterize the main anomaly inherent in the contamination of soil and groundwater by vinasse, through the application of different geophysical methods of investigation: resistivity, electromagnetic, induced polarization and spontaneous potential. To do so, will run a temporal monitoring of an area controlled infiltration of vinasse, located on the Site Altarugio owned rural municipality of Rio Claro (SP). At the end of the project, and characterizing the geophysical anomalies characteristics of each method is expected to be able to estimate the time interval in which the whole stillage is infiltrated degraded. (AU)