Journal of Hazardous Materials ( IF 9.038 ) Pub Date : 2020-10-08 , DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124219 Carlos A. Díaz Vargas; Juan C. Solarte-Toro; Liz W. Cuadros Veloza; Carlos A. Cardona Alzate; Elisabeth Restrepo-Parra; Juan C. Higuita
A bacterial mixed culture that utilizes cocaine as the sole carbon and energy sources was isolated and used in a Rotary Disc Reactor as an alternative method for the final disposal of seized cocaine. This study aimed to compare the performances of cocaine incineration (oven) and biodegradation (Rotary Disc Reactor), considering economic and environmental aspects. There was a 99.4% cocaine removal efficiency when bacterial C1T consortium was grown in a Rotary Disc Reactor for 42 h. The economic analysis allowed determining the high potential of the biotechnological cocaine degradation to be evaluated at higher scales. Indeed, the unit disposition price of the biotechnological degradation pathway was 58% higher than the calculated value for the incineration process considering an initial cocaine concentration of 30 g/L. Moreover, the economic sensitivity analysis demonstrated a price reduction of 20% in the unit disposition price of the biotechnological degradation using a rotary disc reactor. Further, cocaine degradation using a rotary disc reactor system presented a better environmental performance than the incineration process considering atmospheric and toxicological impact categories because of the low release of hazardous materials to the atmosphere.