Abstract

The accumulation of environmental pesticides can cause problems in aquatic ecosystems and adverse effects in humans. These compounds can be found in water due to runoff from agricultural, industrial and domestic applications. In Southern Brazil, tobacco cultivation is one of the most important economic agricultural activities. The bifenthrin pesticide, classified as having moderate toxicity (class II), is commonly used as an insecticide in this culture. In this context, the present research aimed to study the performance of microalgae-induced bioremediation processes. Microalgae were isolated from a natural water source in the city of Santa Cruz do Sul, RS, Brazil, which is an artificial reservoir used for public water supply. For this purpose, biodegradation, biosorption, influence of pH, percentage of inoculum and photoperiod were evaluated in batch experiments for 20 cultivation days. After the phycoremediation process, the bifenthrin pesticide (m/z = 181) was quantified by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The results indicated that microalgae isolated from the water of the lake were able to contribute to the removal of approximately 99% of bifenthrin through biodegradation and biosorption processes. Photodegradation was identified (>77%) and the best condition for the phycoremediation was 20% inoculum with a photoperiod of 18:6 h.

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