PTI: initiatives promote sustaintability in Western Paraná region

Intense and fundamental, agriculture is one of human being’s main activities throughout civilizations. Over the centuries, the sector has evolved and searches, in modernization, new forms of cultivation that minimize negative impacts on the environment. In this scenario, Itaipu Technological Park (PTI) develops partnerships for application and enhancement of conservative techniques of plantation like the Direct Planting System (SPD), as well as the monitoring of pesticides use in the Paraná 3 basin.

 

Since 2009, PTI functions alongside Itaipu Binacional and the Brazilian Federation of Direct Planting in Straw (FEBRAPDP) in developing a participative methodology named the Participative Quality Index of the Direct Planting System (IQP), aimed to qualify the SPD in order to generate reports for guiding producers towards better practices in 226 properties of 8 microbasins of the Paraná 3 hydrological basin.

 

“When it’s well applied, the method diminishes the intensity of superficial draining that may occur in a specific area. In essence, it diminishes the residual, nutrients and contamination input towards hydrological courses of the contributive basins and, subsequently, the Itaipu power plant reservoir”, stated agronomic engineer Hudson Lissoni Leonardo, from Itaipu’s Operational Support Division.

 

According to Itaipu Technological Park’s (PTI) environmental analyst, Cássio Wandscheer, the idea is to expand the methodology to other regions. “We’re already prospecting the IQP expansion towards the 54 municipalities of the Western Paraná region, as well as Northern Pataná and Campos Gerais. There’s also an intent to adapt it for application in Rio Grande do Sul, São Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goiás”.

 

Another important strategic axis of agriculture is related to the pesticides use, an application that can lead to the accumulation of toxic chemical residuals in the water, the soil and the air. Looking to study the concentrations of both types of the most used pesticides in the Paraná 3 hydrological basin – the glyphostate and the atrazine – Itaipu Binacional, Federal University of Latin-American Integration (Unila) and Itaipu Technological Park (PTI) joined together in developing the project “Micropollutants in the BP3 superficial water”.

 

Unila professor, Marcela Boroski, explained about the researches’ development. “First we needed to develop a methodology in order to point out both those herbicides. We needed a lab methodology that was enough sensible and pre-concentrated due to the main principle in these substances (analytes) is present in low concentrations. After the methodology development phase, two parameters were established: a detection limit – which is the maximum quantity of analyte detectable by the method, whereas the quantification limit is related to the quantity needed by the method to quantify the analyte.

Based on the studies developed by the project, it was possible to map the glyphostate and atrazine concentrations in the BP3 which allowed to know the “behavior” of the micropollutants, specially in the soil.

 

According to biologist Simone Frederlgl Benassi, from Itaipu’s Reservoir Division, the results were unexpected. “The low concentrations of glyphostate n the soil were surprising. When we selected which microbasins we would work on, we chose those that were over 80% use and agriculture occupation of soybean and corn, where there’s a bigger application of those supplies”. 

 

The researches will go under a second phase through a new methodology that will be developed on 24 microbasins, 12 natural from Paraguay. A biodiversity study of those micropollutents will also be developed.  

 

Renewable Energies: clean sources for sustainable development

 

Based on the consolidation of a cleaner and renewable national energy grid, PTI contributes to the development of other renewable and sustainable energy sources, like solar and wind, such as biogas and hydrogen.

 

Among the initiatives in favor of renewable energies is the elaboration of the Western Paraná Solar Energy Atlas. The document – developed through the International Hydroinformatics Center (CIH) along with Itaipu Binacional, Federal Technological University of Paraná (UTFPR) and the National Institute of Space Research (Inpe) – has lead to an online system that allows any Paraná citizen to know with precision and free of charge the solar energy available in each of the 399 municipalities, even according to the year’s seasons.

 

“Those informations can work as a base for the elaboration of public policies. One of the goals of the project is to amplify the use of renewable energy sources in Paraná through, mainly, photovoltaic systems connected to the network, as both small and big investors can rely on informations in order to generate their simulations of energy quantitative methods”, explained Alisson Rodrigues Silva, an environmental engineer in PTI.

 

 

Still based on the Western Paraná region, an area famous for the agribusiness and cultivation of birds and cattle, another source aimed by PTI’s resources is biogas, which is a result of the treatment of residual biomass of agricultural activities. The activities are coordinated by CIBIogás (International Center of Renewable Energies – Biogas), a scientific, technological and innovative institution installed in the Park. Its structure factors a biogas laboratory and 11 units of biogas production in Brazil.

 

Hydrogen also has its space guaranteed in PTI’s lines of research through the Hydrogen Research Nucleus (NUPHI), the result of an agreement between the Park, Itaipu Binacional and Eletrogras. The Nucleus is equipped with an laboratory for research in a few aspects of hydrogen and shared with teachers and students, specially those of the universities installed in PTI: Federal University of Latin-American Integration (Unila) and Western Paraná State University (Unioeste

 

Listen to the reporting on Web Rádio Água.