Remediation of a chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbon in water by photoelectrocatalysis

Silke Nissen, Bruce D. Alexander, Ilyas Dawood, Martin Tillotson, Richard Peter Kerwin Wells, Donald E MacPhee, Kenneth Stuart Killham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Photoelectrocatalysis driven by visible light offers a new and potentially powerful technology for the remediation of water contaminated by organo-xenobiotics. In this study, the performance of a visible light-driven photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) batch reactor, applying a tungsten trioxide (WO3) photoelectrode, to degrade the model pollutant 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) was monitored both by toxicological assessment (biosensing) and chemical analysis. The bacterial biosensor used to assess the presence of toxicity of the parent molecule and its breakdown products was a multicopy plasmid lux-marked E. coli HB101 pUCD607. The bacterial biosensor traced the removal of 2,4-DCP, and in some case, its toxicity response suggests the identification of transient toxic intermediates. The loss of the parent molecule, 2,4-DCP determined by HPLC, corresponded to the recorded photocurrents. Photoelectrocatalysis offers considerable potential for the remediation of chlorinated hydrocarbons, and that the biosensor based toxicity results identified likely compatibility of this technology with conventional, biological wastewater treatment. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-76
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number1
Early online date11 Sept 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


  • 2,4-Dichlorophenol
  • Photoelectrocatalysis
  • Bacterial biosensor
  • Wastewater
  • Tungsten trioxide
  • Photocatalyst
  • burkholderia SP RASC
  • pseudomonas-fluorescens
  • Escherichia-coli
  • aqueous-solution
  • degradation
  • toxicity
  • photocatalysis
  • soil
  • chlorophenols
  • bioavailability


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