A synergistic platform enables co-oxidation of halogenated organic pollutants without input of organic primary substrate

Yi Hao Luo, Xiangxing Long, Yuhang Cai, Chen Wei Zheng, Manuel A. Roldan, Shize Yang, Dandan Zhou, Chen Zhou, Bruce E. Rittmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


While co-oxidation is widely used to biodegrade halogenated organic pollutants (HOPs), a considerable amount of organic primary substrate is required. Adding organic primary substrates increases the operating cost and also leads to extra carbon dioxide release. In this study, we evaluated a two-stage Reduction and Oxidation Synergistic Platform (ROSP), which integrated catalytic reductive dehalogenation with biological co-oxidation for HOPs removal. The ROSP was a combination of an H2-based membrane catalytic-film reactor (H2−MCfR) and an O2-based membrane biofilm reactor (O2−MBfR). 4-chlorophenol (4-CP) was used as a model HOP to evaluate the performance of ROSP. In the MCfR stage, zero-valent palladium nanoparticles (Pd0NPs) catalyzed reductive hydrodechlorination that converted 4-CP to phenol, with a conversion yield over 92%. In the MBfR stage, the phenol was oxidized and used as a primary substrate that supported the co-oxidation of residual 4-CP. Genomic DNA sequencing revealed that phenol produced from 4-CP reduction enriched bacteria having genes for functional enzymes for phenol biodegradation in the biofilm community. In the ROSP, over 99% of 60 mg/L 4-CP was removed and mineralized during continuous operation: Effluent 4-CP and chemical oxygen demand concentrations were below 0.1 and 3 mg/L, respectively. H2 was the only added electron donor to the ROSP, which means no extra carbon dioxide was produced by primary-substrate oxidation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number119801
JournalWater Research
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • Biofilm
  • Catalytic dechlorination
  • Co-oxidation
  • Synergistic platform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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