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Preparation of new hydrogels containing mesoporous carbons from plastic waste and doped with metals: application in the removal of antibiotics from water and toxicological analysis

Grant number: 22/09912-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2023
Effective date (End): July 31, 2026
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering - Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment
Principal Investigator:PATRICIA PREDIGER
Grantee:Paula Mayara Morais da Silva
Host Institution: Faculdade de Tecnologia (FT). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Limeira , SP, Brazil


The presence of antibiotics in aquatic systems is a reality due to their intense and uninterrupted use, and the difficulty of removal in conventional sewage treatment systems. Thus, the development of new efficient technologies for the elimination of these compounds is an urgent need, with adsorption being an advantageous technique over others. Thus, this project aims to synthesize and characterize new sweet potato starch hydrogels containing porous carbons from polyethylene terephthalate residues and doped with metals, and to study the removal of antibiotics in continuous flow water. The generation of sweet potato starch hydrogels is unprecedented in the literature, and they will serve as support for the porous carbons. Doping porous carbons produced from recycled plastic with metals will be made to enhance interactions between porous carbons and antibiotics in water. The antibiotics that will be used in the adsorption assays are amoxicillin, piperacycline, levoflaxacin and moxifloxacin. The adsorption of antibiotics will also be studied with different interferents, which will provide an understanding of the adsorption mechanism of porous carbons in real systems where there is the coexistence of antibiotics and other compounds. In addition, the processes of adsorption of antibiotics from real effluents from the pharmaceutical industry and the reuse of porous carbons will be studied to evaluate the useful life of the adsorbents and reduce the costs of the process. The effluents generated from the reuse of hydrogels will be analyzed for their toxicity in organisms of different trophic levels, namely: Lemna minor, Daphnia magna and Danio rerio. For L. minor, growth and pigment content will be analyzed, for D. magna and D. rerio, mortality and behavior parameters will be analyzed. In all organisms will be analyzed enzymatic activity of antioxidant response, such as catalase and metabolism, such as glutathione-S-transferase. As far as is known, there are no reports in the literature on the preparation of sweet potato starch hydrogels and, not so much, on its application as a porous carbon support for water purification.

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