Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 23, pp 19184–19193 | Cite as

Design of an optimized biomixture for the degradation of carbofuran based on pesticide removal and toxicity reduction of the matrix

  • Juan Salvador Chin-Pampillo
  • Karla Ruiz-Hidalgo
  • Mario Masís-Mora
  • Elizabeth Carazo-Rojas
  • Carlos E. Rodríguez-Rodríguez
Research Article


Pesticide biopurification systems contain a biologically active matrix (biomixture) responsible for the accelerated elimination of pesticides in wastewaters derived from pest control in crop fields. Biomixtures have been typically prepared using the volumetric composition 50:25:25 (lignocellulosic substrate/humic component/soil); nonetheless, formal composition optimization has not been performed so far. Carbofuran is an insecticide/nematicide of high toxicity widely employed in developing countries. Therefore, the composition of a highly efficient biomixture (composed of coconut fiber, compost, and soil, FCS) for the removal of carbofuran was optimized by means of a central composite design and response surface methodology. The volumetric content of soil and the ratio coconut fiber/compost were used as the design variables. The performance of the biomixture was assayed by considering the elimination of carbofuran, the mineralization of 14C-carbofuran, and the residual toxicity of the matrix, as response variables. Based on the models, the optimal volumetric composition of the FCS biomixture consists of 45:13:42 (coconut fiber/compost/soil), which resulted in minimal residual toxicity and ∼99 % carbofuran elimination after 3 days. This optimized biomixture considerably differs from the standard 50:25:25 composition, which remarks the importance of assessing the performance of newly developed biomixtures during the design of biopurification systems.


Biopurification system Pesticides Degradation Coconut fiber Optimization 



This work was supported by Vicerrectoría de Investigación, Universidad de Costa Rica (projects 802-B2-046 and 802-B4-503), the Costa Rican Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications, MICITT (project FI-093-13/802-B4-503), and the Joint FAO/IAEA project TC COS5/029.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Salvador Chin-Pampillo
    • 1
  • Karla Ruiz-Hidalgo
    • 1
  • Mario Masís-Mora
    • 1
  • Elizabeth Carazo-Rojas
    • 1
  • Carlos E. Rodríguez-Rodríguez
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Investigación en Contaminación Ambiental (CICA)Universidad de Costa RicaSan JoséCosta Rica

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