Biodegradation of pyridine and quinoline is initiated with mono-oxygenation reactions that require an intracellular electron donor. Simultaneous biodegradation of both substrates should set up competition for the intracellular electron donor that may inhibit one or more of the mono-oxygenation steps. An internal circulation baffled biofilm reactor (ICBBR) was used to evaluate the impacts of competition during pyridine and quinoline biodegradation. Compared with independent biodegradation, pyridine and quinoline removal rates were slowed when biodegraded simultaneously, although the pyridine removal rate decreased more than for quinoline. The first mono-oxygenation of quinoline (to 2-hydroxyquinoline) always was faster than the first mono-oxygenation of pyridine (to 2-hydroxypyridine), and the difference was accentuated with pyridine and quinoline which were biodegraded simultaneously due to the competition for intracellular electron donor. Competition also existed between the second mono-oxygenations, and the removal rate of 2-hydroxypyridine was faster than the rate for 2-hydroxyquinoline, even though the rate was faster for quinoline than pyridine. Adding an exogenous electron donor accelerated all mono-oxygenations in proportion to the amount of donor added, but the increments were greater for quinoline due to its higher affinity for intracellular electron donors than pyridine. When actual coking wastewater was used as the background matrix, removals of pyridine and quinoline exhibited the same competitive trends.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25082-25091
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number32
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Affinity
  • Electron donors
  • Mono-oxygenation reaction
  • Pyridine
  • Quinoline

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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