STRATEGIES TO MITIGATE CORK WASTEWATERS POLLUTANTS
Cork wastewater is a recognized risk to the ecosystem if not properly treated before discharge. It contains phenolic acids that are recalcitrant compounds with high antioxidant activity. Their recovery could represent a potential way to valorise this wastewater. A comprehensive assessment of the toxicity and antioxidant activity of cork wastewater and the effects of gamma radiation, as an advanced oxidation treatment process, on these parameters was made aiming to access the feasibility of irradiation to reduce the environmental impact and/or increase its added value. It was observed that the radiolytic products of cork wastewater are more toxic than the parental ones and that the antioxidant potential increases. This could be relevant for a prospective application for valorisation of cork wastewater extractable phenolic compounds in other industries. Considering this, the removal of four phenolic compounds from cork wastewater was investigated using mesoporous carbons. The results suggested the use of activated carbon as an alternative technology to reduce the content of phenolic recalcitrant compounds in cork wastewaters.