Contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes, known as BTEX is commonly observed in areas near the oil refineries or stations, in water and soil. The anaerobic biodegradation in soil has been studied as a technology for recovering contaminated areas with anoxic characteristics, but, this microbial activity can transform compounds little or nothing toxic in highly toxic compounds, and in many cases, the products generated have cancerigenic characteristicsFaced with this situation, the present study has as main objective, the assessment of efficiency of the anaerobic biodegradation of BTEX in microcosms with respect to the production of metabolites that take part in this process, some of them: benzylsuccinate; etylbenzylsuccinate, 2-, 3-, and 4-metylbenzylsuccinate; toluate and benzoic acid. The BTEX will be extracted by HS-SPME and analyzed by GC /FID, the metabolites more hydrophilic and less volatile will be extracted by ultrasound and analyzed by UPLC. It is expected from monitoring the biodegradation kinetics, decrease of the concentration of the BTEX and the concentration increase of metabolites with time, contribute to an understanding of the dynamics of the process which can assist in making decisions and in the restoration of areas with incomplete degradation.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: