Ethanol is an important component of the Brazilian energy matrix, being produced from sugar cane by fermentation of sugars and subsequent distillation. In the distillation step, an important generated by-product is the vinasse, which for every 1 L of ethanol is generated from 12 to 18 L. Due to its composition is basically composed of organic compounds and nitrogen compounds and salts of potassium, calcium and magnesium, the vinasse has been widely used in the fertigation soils, however, if it is not dosed properly, it may have high power pollutant. Among the organic compounds, carboxylic acids are important because they are present in significant concentrations in the sugar cane vinasse and present significant industrial importance.Among the analytical methods for determination of carboxylic acids, those involving high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with electrochemical detection have been highlighted because they allow the separation of complex mixtures, qualitative and quantitative analysis, present good sensitivity, selectivity and wide linear range of response. Chemically modified electrodes with metal nanoparticles have gained ground in electrochemical detection by improving the analytical signal, becoming advantageous it use.Thus, the goal of this project is the development of an electrochemical detector based on an electrode chemically modified with nanoparticles of nickel and copper for the determination of carboxylic acids in sugar cane vinasse using the technique of high performance liquid chromatography by ion exchange.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: