Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 263–272 | Cite as

2,4-DNT removal in intimately coupled photobiocatalysis: the roles of adsorption, photolysis, photocatalysis, and biotransformation

  • Donghui Wen
  • Guozheng Li
  • Rui Xing
  • Seongjun Park
  • Bruce E. Rittmann
Environmental biotechnology


The removal of 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT) by simultaneous UV-photo(cata)lysis and biodegradation was explored using intimately coupled photolysis/photocatalysis and biodegradation (ICPB) with two novel porous carriers. First, a porous ceramic carrier was used to attach the photocatalyst (TiO2) on its exterior and accumulate biomass in its interior. UV irradiation alone decomposed 71% of the 2,4-DNT in 60 h, and TiO2 catalyst improved the photolysis to 77%. Second, a macroporous sponge carrier was used to strongly adsorb 2,4-DNT and protect microorganisms from 2,4-DNT inhibition and UV irradiation. The main photolytic reactions were reduction of the nitryl to amino and hydrolysis of the amino to release NH 4 + . The main biodegradation reactions were oxidative release of NO 3 and accelerated reductive release of NH 4 + . ICPB more thoroughly released inorganic N, with nearly equal amounts being oxidized to nitrate and reduced to ammonium. The genera Burkholderia and Bacillus were found inside the sponge carriers, and they are associated with biodegradation of DNT and its photolysis intermediates. Therefore, using an adsorbent and macroporous biofilm carrier enabled the effective removal of 2,4-DNT by ICPB.


2,4-DNT Biodegradation Photolysis Adsorption Intimate coupling 



This study was supported by the US National Science Foundation (Grant No. 0651794) and China Scholarship Council. We sincerely thank Prof. Yongming Zhang at Shanghai Normal University, China, for kindly providing the ceramic carriers and Samsung Engineering Co. Ltd, Korea, for kindly providing the sponge carriers. We also thank Bradley Lusk, who helped in DNA sequencing analysis, and Dr. Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown, who provided guidance and facilities for phylogenetic analysis.

Supplementary material

253_2011_3692_MOESM1_ESM.doc (4.4 mb)
ESM 1 (DOC 4512 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donghui Wen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guozheng Li
    • 2
  • Rui Xing
    • 1
  • Seongjun Park
    • 2
    • 3
  • Bruce E. Rittmann
    • 2
  1. 1.College of Environmental Sciences and EngineeringPeking UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, Biodesign InstituteArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  3. 3.Research and Development CenterSamsung Construction and TradingSeoulRepublic of Korea

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