, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 189–198 | Cite as

Integrated photocatalytic-biological reactor for accelerated 2,4,6-trichlorophenol degradation and mineralization

  • Yongming Zhang
  • Xia Sun
  • Lujun Chen
  • Bruce E. Rittmann
Original Paper


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 TiO2 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.


Photocatalysis Biofilm Reactor Trichlorophenol Biodegradation 



The authors acknowledge the financial support by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (50978164 and 50678102), the Special Foundation of Chinese Colleges and Universities Doctoral Discipline (20070270003), Innovation Fund for Key Projects of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission (10ZZ82), the Shanghai Leading Academic Discipline Project (S30406), and the United States National Science Foundation (0651794). We received important help from Shanghai Application Lab, Dionex China Co., Ltd. for Cl anion measurement.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yongming Zhang
    • 1
  • Xia Sun
    • 1
  • Lujun Chen
    • 2
  • Bruce E. Rittmann
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Engineering, College of Life and Environmental ScienceShanghai Normal UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of EnvironmentTsinghua UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology, Biodesign InstituteArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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