In the production of plastic packaging, widely used in the food industry, polymers and additives are used as raw material to obtain better results from the final product. Because it is in direct contact with food, some constituents that make up the packaging may migrate from the coating to the product depending on the temperature and pressure that is applied. Normally, some monomers of polymers, additives, dyes among others can migrate to the food generating health complications. One of the chemicals that is present in several plastic packages is Bisphenol A (BPA), which is currently an industrial product produced in large scale around the world. However, BPA has moderate estrogen activity that can lead to health complications such as disrupting the hormonal action of the thyroid, aggravating proliferation of prostate cancer cells in humans and blocking testosterone synthesis. Currently in Brazil, Resolution RDC No. 17/2008 of March 17, 2008 of ANVISA is in force, establishing that the specific migration limit (SML) is 0.6 mg of BPA/kg of food. Another aggravating factor is the recycling movement that increases the reuse and reinsertion of plastic packaging, allowing the increased release of this compound. Thus, it is necessary to find a correct form of treatment for this micropollutant that is constantly released into the environment. Understanding this problem, this project proposes to employ the use of advanced oxidative processes consortium with the enzymatic biological treatment to degrade the BPA. For the oxidative treatments, DSA type anodes (Ti/RuTiO2) and UV light will be used in conjunction with an enzymatic treatment, thus creating an alternative and efficient treatment for the degradation and mineralization of BPA. The enzyme lacase oxidase used in the enzymatic treatment is part of a joint project between the proposing laboratory (LEEA) and the Free University of Brussels (ULB). The efficiency of the process employed will be determined from parameters such as COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand), BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand), TOC (Total Organic Carbon), pH variation, analysis of the products obtained (HPLC) under different experimental conditions. The work also aims to evaluate the acute toxicity of solutions before and after treatment, using the microcrustacean Artemia salina and Lactuca sativa seeds as toxicity indicator organisms.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: