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The use of sawdust for phosphorus biosorption in aquatic environments: promoting water and food security

Grant number: 16/00490-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2016
Effective date (End): June 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology
Principal Investigator:Antonio Aparecido Mozeto
Grantee:Glaucia Pantano
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil


Water resources have become scarce over the past decades, both in quantitative and qualitative terms. Eutrophication, along with numerous other contaminants (organic and inorganic) related to water quality parameters are responsible for the successive degradation of the water bodies. There are currently two scenarios: an excessive presence of phosphorus in aquatic ecosystems and depletion of phosphate rock deposits, which endangers water and global food security. In this context, the development of technologies aimed at recovering the quality of aquatic ecosystems and phosphorus contained in such bodies is very important. Various technologies for the remediation of eutrophic environments have been studied, however, none of them aimed at Phosphorus reuse to agriculture. Thus, this project proposes to study the sawdust as biosorbent material for phosphorus aimed at its further use as fertilizer in agriculture. In addition to the phosphorus adsorption, the possible retention of metals and emerging contaminants will be studies. The experiments will be conducted in microcosms with water and sediment samples from eutrophic reservoir (Bonita/SP - Brazil). After the adsorption of P in the sawdust, possible toxicity would be evaluated through tests on onion and earthworms. At the conclusion of this project, we intend to (1) establish a new adsorbent material for phosphorus, (2) assess the possibility of adsorption of emerging contaminants and metals (3) assess the possible limitations that may exist because of possible retention of metals and emerging contaminants. (AU)