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Sugar–alcohol industry: quality of its biotreated washing water for reuse in fertigation

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Abstract

All processes in agro-industries consume water and generate large volumes of nutrient-rich effluents. To recycle effluents from a sugar–alcohol industry in the Northeastern Brazil (Coruripe, Alagoas), the effect of a daily application of a microbial formulation (containing five indigenous bacteria and two fungi), at the entrance of the two first facultative ponds (D, E) of its treatment plant formed by seven ponds (A–G), was evaluated in the sugarcane harvests of 2014/2015 and 2015/2016. Fortnightly, the values of 11 physicochemical parameters were checked and statistically compared (one and two-way ANOVA) in untreated (sedimentation pond A) and post-treated effluent (last facultative pond G), during both harvests. The treated effluent presented statistically significant improvements (p > 0.05), even between harvests, with averages of removal of organic matter of ca. 79.21% and 90.62%, and increases of the dissolved oxygen (DO) of ca. 72% and 74%, as well as the average increase of pH was ca. 42% and 50%. This better quality residue generally satisfied the class III level of the Brazilian Resolution 357/2005 (National Council for the Environment (CONAMA)), for water reuse in sugarcane irrigation on the yellow clay latosol soil, since it still is a light source of organic matter, nitrites and phosphorus, reducing the need of fertilizers for maintaining the productivity with low risk of salinization. According to Pearson’s bivariate correlation coefficient, while the DO and pH have positive correlation, they both have general inverse relation with the other physicochemical parameters evaluated and vice versa.

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Correspondence to Ana Maria Queijeiro López.

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dos Santos Silva, A.L., dos Santos, E.C.L. & López, A.M.Q. Sugar–alcohol industry: quality of its biotreated washing water for reuse in fertigation. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2020) doi:10.1007/s11356-020-07634-6

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Keywords

  • Bioaugmentation
  • Microbial consortium
  • Sugar–alcohol industry
  • Sugarcane washing water
  • Wastewater treatment