The widespread use of surfactants in various products justifies the current research directions aimed at the remediation of environmental problems related to them. Among the branches that use surfactants, commercial laundries represent the sector that uses and requires high concentration of surfactants in their products, usually linear alkyl benzene sulfonate, LAS, commonly found in the constitution of cleaning products. In Brazil, recent research has been conducted in LPB-EESC-USP with anaerobic fluidized bed aiming anaerobic removal of LAS. Thus, the motivation of this work is the possibility to evaluate the degradation of surfactant in the water from commercial laundry in optional conditions, with emphasis on evaluation of the removal of nitrogen and phosphate in a fluidized bed reactor filled with sand. Microscopic examination will be performed to evaluate microbial growth due to reactor operation, besides the application of PCR / DGGE to establish the microbial diversity in relation to the Domain Bacteria. The reactor will be operated in continuous flow and bench scale, and will be applied different hydraulic retention times to promote the removal of the aforementioned compounds. In the best removal stage of the compounds, biofilm will be sampled for cell identification by sequencing of 16S rRNA gene fragments. Aliquots of the effluent will be taken for evaluation in mass spectrometry in order to check the co-degradation products. It is important research, since the possibility of observation of removal and degradation has not yet been carried out both on LPB and Brazil. Thus, we intend to seek appropriate condition after setting the best HRT for removal of organic compounds, nitrogen and phosphates in a fluidized bed reactor.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: