The aerobic biodegradation of dimethyl phthalate (DMP) is initiated with two hydrolysis reactions that generate an intermediate, phthalic acid (PA), that is further biodegraded through a two-step di-oxygenation reaction. DMP biodegradation is inhibited when PA accumulates, but DMP’s biodegradation can be enhanced by adding an exogenous electron donor. We evaluated the effect of adding succinate, acetate, or formate as an exogenous electron donor. PA removal rates were increased by 15 and 30% for initial PA concentrations of 0.3 and 0.6 mM when 0.15 and 0.30 mM succinate, respectively, were added as exogenous electron donor. The same electron-equivalent additions of acetate and formate had the same acceleration impacts on PA removal. Consequently, the DMP-removal rate, even PA coexisting with DMP simultaneously, was accelerated by 37% by simultaneous addition of 0.3 mM succinate. Thus, lowering the accumulation of PA by addition of an electron increased the rate of DMP biodegradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-421
Number of pages9
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Di-oxygenation
  • Dimethyl phthalate
  • Electron donors
  • Phthalic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Microbiology
  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution


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