Combining fungal bioremediation and ozonation for rinse wastewater treatment

Eduardo Beltrán-Flores, Paqui Blánquez, Ana M. Gorito, Montserrat Sarrà*, Adrián M.T. Silva

*Autor correspondiente de este trabajo

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículoInvestigaciónrevisión exhaustiva


In this work, agricultural rinse wastewater, which is produced during the cleaning of agricultural equipment and constitutes a major source of pesticides, was treated by fungal bioremediation and ozonation, both individually and combined in a two-stage treatment train. Three major pesticides (thiacloprid, chlortoluron, and pyrimethanil) were detected in rinse wastewater, with a total concentration of 38.47 mg C L−1. Comparing both technologies, ozonation in a stirred reactor achieved complete removal of these pesticides (720 min) while proving to be a more effective approach for reducing colour, organic matter, and bacteria. However, this technique produced transformation products and increased toxicity. In contrast, fungal bioremediation in a rotating drum bioreactor attenuated toxicity levels and did not produce such metabolites, but only removed approximately 50 % of target pesticide - hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 5 days - and obtained worse results for most of the general quality parameters studied. This work also includes a preliminary economic assessment of both technologies, revealing that fungal bioremediation was 2 times more cost-effective than ozonation. The treatment train, consisting of a first stage of fungal bioremediation followed by ozonation, was found to be a promising approach as it synergistically combines the advantages of both treatments, achieving high removals of pesticides (up to 100 %) and transformation products, while reducing operating costs and producing a biodegradable effluent. This is the first time that fungal bioremediation and ozonation technologies have been compared and combined in a treatment train to deal with pesticides in agricultural rinse wastewater.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo169198
Número de páginas12
PublicaciónScience of the total environment
EstadoPublicada - 20 feb 2024


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