The presence of organic micropollutants (OMPs) in the aquatic environment has been shown to be a globally relevant environmental issue in recent decades. Micropollutants, also known as emerging contaminants, although present in trace concentrations can cause harm to both human and environment, with associations with the development of cancers, infertility and bacterial resistance. In Brazil, the study of anaerobic biological treatment systems to deal with different OMPs has reached a prominent position due to the favorable climatic conditions for anaerobic bioreactors. However, anaerobic digestion of domestic wastewater has a low potential for biogas generation and reuse. In this sense, anaerobic codigestion appears as an alternative, which is also capable of offering an environmentally correct disposal of tailings that can be used as cosubstrates. Therefore, this research project proposes the evaluation of the co-digestion of glycerin, a by-product from the production of biodiesel, with sanitary sewage in an anaerobic fixed-bed reactor, acidogenic and methanogenic, aiming at the biodegradation of the following organic micropollutants: the antibiotics sulfamethoxazole and ciprofloxacin; the anti-inflammatory acetaminophen; the psychoactive carbamazepine; and the beta blocker metoprolol. The project therefore aims to elucidate organic cometabolism as a potential mechanism for the biodegradation of micropollutants, as well as to establish a viable alternative to optimize the production and use of biogas from sanitary sewage.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: