An integrated photocatalytic-biological reactor (IPBR) was used for accelerated degradation and mineralization of 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (TCP) through simultaneous, intimate coupling of photocatalysis and biodegradation in one reactor. Intimate coupling was realized by circulating the IPBR's liquid contents between a TiO 2 film on mat glass illuminated by UV light and honeycomb ceramics as biofilm carriers. Three protocols-photocatalysis alone (P), biodegradation alone (B), and integrated photocatalysis and biodegradation (photobiodegradation, P&B)-were used for degradation of different initial TCP concentrations. Intimately coupled P&B also was compared with sequential P and B. TCP removal by intimately coupled P&B was faster than that by P and B alone or sequentially coupled P and B. Because photocatalysis relieved TCP inhibition to biodegradation by decreasing its concentration, TCP biodegradation could become more important over the full batch P&B experiments. When phenol, an easy biodegradable compounds, was added to TCP in order to promote TCP mineralization by means of secondary utilization, P&B was superior to P and B in terms of mineralization of TCP, giving 95% removal of chemical oxygen demand. Cl - was only partially released during P experiments (24%), and this corresponded to its poor mineralization in P experiments (32%). Thus, intimately coupled P&B in the IPBR made it possible obtain the best features of each: rapid photocatalytic transformation in parallel with mineralization of photocatalytic products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-198
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • Biodegradation
  • Biofilm
  • Photocatalysis
  • Reactor
  • Trichlorophenol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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