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Removal of sweeteners cyclamate and sucralose from sewage by anaerobic digestion using AnSBBR

Grant number: 22/16543-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2024
Effective date (End): February 28, 2027
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Sanitary Engineering - Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment
Principal Investigator:José Alberto Domingues Rodrigues
Grantee:Lia Paula Poloni Batista
Host Institution: Escola de Engenharia Mauá (EEM). Instituto Mauá de Tecnologia. São Caetano do Sul , SP, Brazil


The consumption of sweeteners such as cyclamate and sucralose is increasing worldwide to meet the demand for low-calorie foods. However, treatment plants have low efficiency in removing these compounds, contaminating surface water and posing a risk to the aquatic ecosystem. In addition, frequent exposure to sweeteners can cause adverse effects on human health. The use of the anaerobic digestion process as a treatment for organic waste has grown in recent decades because it is a lower cost treatment as it requires less energy. For this purpose, the anaerobic bioreactors operated in sequential batches have been studied by the research group from the Mauá School of Engineering at the Mauá Institute of Technology for two decades, and have shown promising results obtained in bench and pilot scales. The main advantages of this type of operation are its simplicity, good effluent quality control and its potential application in different wastewaters. In this context, this project aims to study an anaerobic reactor operated in sequential batch and/or fed-batch containing immobilized biomass (AnSBBR), with mechanical agitation and at mesophilic condition, applied to the removal of cyclamate and sucralose from synthetic and in natura sewage, also including caffeine as a standard compound for comparison. The studied variables will be feeding strategy; cycle length; temperature; and co-digestion on process stability and efficiency in relation to substrate and micropollutant conversion, methane productivity and yield. In addition, fundamental aspects intrinsic to the process will be evaluated, such as: stoichiometry; kinetic model; thermodynamics; molecular biology and ecotoxicology; and technological aspects, such as: scale-up estimation and energy production.

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