Catalytic dechlorination of diclofenac by biogenic palladium in a microbial electrolysis cell
Article first published online: 6 JAN 2012
© 2012 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology © 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Special Issue: Microbial Resource Management. Guest Editors: Nico Boon and Willy Verstraete
Volume 5, Issue 3, pages 396–402, May 2012
How to Cite
Gusseme, B. D., Soetaert, M., Hennebel, T., Vanhaecke, L., Boon, N. and Verstraete, W. (2012), Catalytic dechlorination of diclofenac by biogenic palladium in a microbial electrolysis cell. Microbial Biotechnology, 5: 396–402. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7915.2011.00325.x
- Issue published online: 16 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 6 JAN 2012
- Received 22 August, 2011; accepted 6 December, 2011.
Diclofenac is one of the most commonly detected pharmaceuticals in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents and the receiving water bodies. In this study, biogenic Pd nanoparticles (‘bio-Pd’) were successfully applied in a microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) for the catalytic reduction of diclofenac. Hydrogen gas was produced in the cathodic compartment, and consumed as a hydrogen donor by the bio-Pd on the graphite electrodes. In this way, complete dechlorination of 1 mg diclofenac l−1 was achieved during batch recirculation experiments, whereas no significant removal was observed in the absence of the biocatalyst. The complete dechlorination of diclofenac was demonstrated by the concomitant production of 2-anilinophenylacetate (APA). Through the addition of −0.8 V to the circuit, continuous and complete removal of diclofenac was achieved in synthetic medium at a minimal HRT of 2 h. Continuous treatment of hospital WWTP effluent containing 1.28 µg diclofenac l−1 resulted in a lower removal efficiency of 57%, which can probably be attributed to the affinity of other environmental constituents for the bio-Pd catalyst. Nevertheless, reductive catalysis coupled to sustainable hydrogen production in a MEC offers potential to lower the release of micropollutants from point-sources such as hospital WWTPs.