Anaerobic degradation of xenobiotic organic contaminants (XOCs): The role of electron flow and potential enhancing strategies

Xuliang Zhuang , Yijing Li , Shanghua Wu , Shijie Wang , Shijie Zhao


Received July 12, 2020,Revised , Accepted August 26, 2020, Available online September 17, 2020

Volume 101,2021,Pages 397-412

In groundwater, deep soil layer, sediment, the widespread of xenobiotic organic contaminants (XOCs) have been leading to the concern of human health and eco-environment safety, which calls for a better understanding on the fate and remediation of XOCs in anoxic matrices. In the absence of oxygen, bacteria utilize various oxidized substances, e.g. nitrate, sulphate, metallic (hydr)oxides, humic substance, as terminal electron acceptors (TEAs) to fuel anaerobic XOCs degradation. Although there have been increasing anaerobic biodegradation studies focusing on species identification, degrading pathways, community dynamics, systematic reviews on the underlying mechanism of anaerobic contaminants removal from the perspective of electron flow are limited. In this review, we provide the insight on anaerobic biodegradation from electrons aspect — electron production, transport, and consumption. The mechanism of the coupling between TEAs reduction and pollutants degradation is deconstructed in the level of community, pure culture, and cellular biochemistry. Hereby, relevant strategies to promote anaerobic biodegradation are proposed for guiding to an efficient XOCs bioremediation.

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