Quinoline, a recalcitrant heterocyclic compound, is biodegraded by a series of reactions that begin with mono-oxygenations, which require an intracellular electron donor. Photolysis of quinoline can generate readily biodegradable products, such as oxalate, whose bio-oxidation can generate endogenous electron donors that ought to accelerate quinoline biodegradation and, ultimately, mineralization. To test this hypothesis, we compared three protocols for the biodegradation of quinoline: direct biodegradation (B), biodegradation after photolysis of 1 h (P1h+B) or 2 h (P2h+B), and biodegradation by adding oxalate commensurate to the amount generated from photolysis of 1 h (O1+B) or 2 h (O2+B). The experimental results show that P1h+B and P2h+B accelerated quinoline biodegradation by 19% and 50%, respectively, compared to B. Protocols O1+B and O2+B also gave 19% and 50% increases, respectively. During quinoline biodegradation, its first intermediate, 2-hydroxyquinoline, accumulated gradually in parallel to quinoline loss but declined once quinoline was depleted. Mono-oxygenation of 2-hydroxyquinoline competed with mono-oxygenation of quinoline, but the inhibition was relieved when extra electrons donors were added from oxalate, whether formed by UV photolysis or added exogenously. Rapid oxalate oxidation stimulated both mono-oxygenations, which accelerated the overall quinoline oxidation that provided the bulk of the electron donor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11536-11542
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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