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Conventional technologies and others for wastewater purification do not solve all existing problems caused by polluted effluents from municipalities and industry. Particularly, wastewater from cork processing industry present high levels of recalcitrant organic compounds such as phenolics that must be degraded before discharge into the municipal sewer or into public water courses. This study represents a unique approach that tries to associate the metabolic capacities of a cork wastewater microbial consortium along with a radiolytic process, in order to promote the recalcitrant phenolics compounds degradation. The results highlighted the toxicity of the radiolytic by-products for the selected microbial consortium. This could be due to the detected radiolysis dynamics of the phenolic acids considering the antimicrobial activity of these compounds. This bench scale approach has triggered ongoing studies on the mechanistic insights of radiolytic dynamics of phenolic acids for a perspective application of valorisation of cork wastewater extractable phenolic compounds in food or cosmetic industries.



HPLC identification of cork wastewater (i) phenolic compounds (ii) gallic acid – A; protocatechuic acid – B; vanillic acid – C and syringic acid – D. 2) Growth assessment of the autochthonous mixed microculture (iii) of four bacterial strains naturally present in cork wastewater in simulated cork wastewater samples (non-irradiated 0 kGy and irradiated 100 kGy) and controls (C+ and C-) during incubation time.


Contact persons:

Fernanda Margaça ()

Joana Madureira ()



Lima; C.; Madureira J.; Melo, R.; Carolino, M.M.; Noronha, J.P.; Margaça, F.M.A.; Cabo Verde, S. (2016). A biodegradation bench study of cork wastewater using gamma radiation. Journal of Advanced Oxidation Technologies 19 (1): 73-78. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/stn/jaots/2016/00000019/00000001/art00011

Cabo Verde, S.; Silva, T.; Matos, P., Effects of gamma radiation on wastewater microbiota, Radiation and Environmental Biophysics 55: 125-131, DOI: 10.1007/s00411-015-0617-2

Cabo Verde, S.; Guerreiro, D.; Meneses, M.; Silva, T.; Madureira, J.; Santos, P.; Melo, R.; Margaça, F. (2016). Applications of radiation technologies for developing “green” processes for treatment of biological hazards. In: Radiation Technology for Cleaner Products and Processes, IAEA (Ed.), IAEA-TECDOC-1786, 151-161. ISSN: 1011-4289.

Madureira, J.; Melo, R.; Ceriani, E.; Cabo Verde, S.; Marotta, E.; Pinhão, N.; Paradisi, C.; Margaça, F.M.A. (2016). Oxidation of clofibric acid in water by electrical discharge and gamma radiation, 23rd Europhysics Conference on Atomic and Molecular Physics of Ionized Gases (ESCAMPIG), Bratislava, Slovakia, 12-16 July, p. 308-309.