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Environmental impact assessment of vinasse biodigested in anaerobic bioreactor using ecotoxicology assays

Grant number: 18/21901-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2019
Effective date (End): June 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering - Environmental Sanitation
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Zaiat
Grantee:Mayara Caroline Felipe
Host Institution: Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/06246-7 - Biorefinery concept applied to biological wastewater treatment plants: environmental pollution control coupled with material and energy recovery, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):21/10237-4 - Screening genetic markers for the environmental impact of sugarcane vinasse on the annelid potworm Enchytraeus crypticus, BE.EP.PD


It is widely known that fossil fuels are present at all levels of any production chain, however, the use of other sources, such as biomass, has been evaluated as a renewable and environmentally friendly alternative in obtaining energy and materials. The concept of biorefinery combines the sustainable process with industrial processes in the conversion of biomass (produced from renewable materials) into energy, fuels, and derivatives. At the same time, due to the fact that anaerobic digestion produces biofuels and bioproducts with high added value, the concept of biorefinery for biological wastewater treatment plants offers significant advances in the area. The concept of biorefinery should be linked to the sustainable aspect of technology and should be concerned with the environmental impact on biodiversity and the spread of contamination. In addition, the anaerobic digestion can be considered the main alternative for vinasse management, where its biodigestion has important advantages over fertirrigation, including the reduction of organic pollutant load, biogas recovery potential from biogas and the potential to increase the profitability of biorefineries. For this, ecotoxicology can be used in the implementation of this concept in reactors fed with pollutants as it assesses the harmful effects of these substances and describes in which condition of exposure these risks are induced. However, the applicability of ecotoxicity assays depends on the appropriate selection of test organisms and endpoints analyzed. Therefore, use of at least three species representing different trophic functions of the food chain is recommended to obtain more accurate results of toxic effects. In addition, a greater number of test organisms of different sensitivities increase the representativeness of the effects caused in the ecosystem by estimating more precisely the impact of the contaminant on the environment. Thus, this research project proposes the investigation of the environmental impact of the release of biodigested vinasse effluents in an anaerobic reactor with a biorefinery concept by means of ecotoxicology tools to evaluate and monitor the toxicity of this biological reactor in aquatic and terrestrial biota. To this end, 5 test organisms will be used, in order to increase the representativeness of the organism sensitivity to vinasse, in which organisms from the aquatic environment, macroinvertebrates, Cladoceran Daphnia magna; Oligochaeta Allonais inaequalis and the Insect Chironomus xanthus. And terrestrial organisms, with the intention of observing the toxic effects of the leachate of this product, using the species Lactuca sativa and terrestrial Oligochaeta Enchytraeus crypticus. The purpose of this project is to verify the hypothesis: The use of ecotoxicological tests is effective in monitoring biological reactors and predicts the environmental impact of the discharge of these effluents.

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Scientific publications (7)
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CASTRO, GLEYSON B.; BERNEGOSSI, ALINE C.; PINHEIRO, FERNANDA R.; FELIPE, MAYARA C.; CORBI, JULIANO J.. Effects of Polyethylene Microplastics on Freshwater Oligochaeta Allonais inaequalis (Stephenson, 1911) Under Conventional and Stressful Exposures. WATER AIR AND SOIL POLLUTION, v. 231, n. 9, . (18/21901-0, 16/21946-8)
FELIPE, MAYARA CAROLINE; BERNEGOSSI, ALINE CHRISTINE; CARDOSO-SILVA, BRUNA NAYARA; DELL'ACQUA, MARCELO MARQUES; CORBI, JULIANO JOSE. Chironomus sancticaroli generation test applied to chemical contaminants and freshwater sediment samples. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, v. 28, n. 29, p. 39282-39295, . (16/24622-9, 15/06246-7, 18/21901-0)
MOURA, LIDIA; DE NADAI, BARBARA L.; BERNEGOSSI, ALINE C.; FELIPE, MAYARA C.; CASTRO, GLEYSON B.; CORBI, JULIANO J.. Be quick or be dead: high temperatures reduce Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) larval development time and pyriproxyfen larvicide efficiency in laboratory conditions. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF TROPICAL INSECT SCIENCE, v. 41, n. 2, . (16/04986-6, 18/21901-0, 16/24622-9, 16/21946-8)
FELIPE, M. C.; BERNEGOSSI, A. C.; CASTRO, G. B.; PINHEIRO, F. R.; NADAI, B. L.; CARDOSO-SILVA, B. N.; CORBI, J. J.. The use of an Allonais inaequalis reproduction test as an ecotoxicological bioassay. ECOTOXICOLOGY, v. 29, n. 5, p. 634-638, . (18/21901-0, 16/24622-9)
CASTRO, GLEYSON B.; PINHEIRO, FERNANDA R.; FELIPE, MAYARA C.; BERNEGOSSI, ALINE C.; GIROLLI, DOUGLAS; GORNI, GUILHERME R.; CORBI, JULIANO J.. Update on the use ofPristina longisetaEhrenberg, 1828 (Oligochaeta: Naididae) as a toxicity test organism. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, v. 27, n. 30, SI, . (18/21901-0, 18/12069-9, 16/21946-8)
CASTRO, GLEYSON B.; BERNEGOSSI, ALINE C.; FELIPE, MAYARA C.; CORBI, JULIANO J.. Is the development of Daphnia magna neonates affected by short-term exposure to polyethylene microplastics?. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND HEALTH PART A-TOXIC/HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES & ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING, v. 55, n. 8, p. 935-946, . (18/21901-0)
FELIPE, MAYARA C.; BERNEGOSSI, ALINE C.; PINHEIRO, FERNANDA R.; CASTRO, GLEYSON B.; MOURA, LIDIA; ZAIAT, MARCELO; CORBI, JULIANO J.. Counting Enchytraeus crypticus Juveniles in Chronic Exposures: An Alternative Method for Ecotoxicity Studies Using Tropical Artificial Soil. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, v. 107, n. 3, . (15/06246-7, 18/21901-0)

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