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Expanding the use of biobeds: Degradation and adsorption of pesticides contained in effluents from seed-coating, bulb disinfestation and fruit-packaging activities

Papazlatani, Christina V., Karas, Panagiotis A., Tucat, Guillermo, Karpouzas, Dimitrios G.
Journal of environmental management 2019 v.248 pp. 109221
adsorption, bulbs, carboxin, chlorothalonil, disinfestation, dose response, effluents, fludioxonil, food industry, mefenoxam, packaging materials, seed dressings, soil, thiabendazole, water resources
Agro-food industries that use pesticides constitute significant point sources for the contamination of natural water resources. Despite that, little is known about the treatment of their pesticide-contaminated effluents. Biobeds could be a possible solution for the depuration of these effluents. In this context, we explored the degradation and adsorption of pesticides used in seed-coating (carboxin (CBX), metalaxyl-M (MET-M), fluxapyroxad (FLX), fludioxonil (FLD)), bulb-dipping (chlorothalonil (CHT), thiabendazole (TBZ), FLD) and fruit-packaging activities (FLD) in a biomixture, used as biobed packing material, and in soil. The degradation of pesticides was tested individually and in mixtures relevant to their industrial use, while FLD was also tested at different concentrations (10, 20, and 150 mg kg⁻¹) representing its use in the different industries. CBX, FLD, and CHT, when applied individually, and all other pesticides when applied in mixtures, degraded more rapidly in biomixture than in soil. In most cases pesticides application in mixtures retarded their degradation. This was more pronounced in soil than in biomixture, especially for MET-M and FLD. CHT had the most prominent inhibitory effect on the degradation of TBZ and FLD. FLD degradation showed a dose-dependent pattern (DT₅₀ 42.4 days at 10 mg kg⁻¹ and 107.6 days at 150 mg kg⁻¹). All pesticides showed higher adsorption affinity in the biomixture (Kf = 3.23–123.3 g mL⁻¹) compared to soil (Kf = 1.15–31.2 g mL⁻¹). We provide initial evidence for the potential of the tested biomixture to remove pesticides contained in effluents produced by different agro-industrial activities. Tests in full-scale biobeds packed with this biomixture will unravel their full depuration potential for the treatment of these agro-industrial effluents.