Dehalogenation of chlorinated aromatic compounds using a hybrid bioinorganic catalyst

Victoria Baxter-Plant, Iryna Mikheenko, Matthew Robson, Stuart Harrad, Lynne Macaskie

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31 Citations (Scopus)


A novel bioinorganic catalyst was obtained via reduction of Pd(II) to Pd0 on to the surface of cells of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans at the expense of H2. Palladised biomass, supplied with formate or H2 as an electron donor, catalysed the dehalogenation of 2-chlorophenol and polychlorinated biphenyls. In the example of 2,3,4,5-tetrachlorobiphenyl, the bioinorganic catalyst promoted a rate of chloride release of 9.33 +/- 0.17 nmol min(-1) mg (-1) and only approximately 5% of this value was obtained using chemically reduced or commercially available Pd0. In the case of 2,2',4,4',6,6'-hexachlorobiphenyl the rate was more than four orders of magnitude faster than the degradation reported using a sulfidogenic culture. Negligible chloride release occurred from any of the chloroaromatic compounds using biomass alone, or from palladised biomass challenged with hexane carrier solvent only. Analysis of the spent solution showed that in addition to catalysis of reductive dehalogenation the new material was able to remove very effectively the organic residua, with neither any PCB nor any breakdown products identifiable by GC/MS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1885-1890
Number of pages6
JournalBiotechnology Letters
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004


  • palladium biocatalyst
  • polychlorinated biphenyls
  • bioinorganic catalysis
  • Desulfovibrio desulfuricans


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