Employing an internal circulation baffled biofilm reactor (ICBBR), we evaluated the mechanisms by which photolysis accelerated the biodegradation and mineralization of pyridine (C5H5N), a nitrogen-containing heterocyclic compound. We tested the hypothesis that pyridine oxidation is accelerated because a key photolysis intermediate, succinate, is as electron donor that promotes the initial mono-oxygenation of pyridine. Experimentally, longer photolysis time generated more electron-donor products (succinate), which stimulated faster pyridine biodegradation. This pattern was confirmed by directly adding succinate, and the stimulation effect occurred similarly with addition of the same equivalents of acetate and formate. Succinate, whether generated by UV photolysis or added directly, also accelerated mono-oxygenation of the first biodegradation intermediate, 2-hydroxyl pyridine (2HP). 2HP and pyridine were mutually inhibitory in that their mono-oxygenations competed for internal electron donor; thus, the addition of any readily biodegradable donor accelerated both mono-oxygenation steps, as well as mineralization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1792-1800
Number of pages9
JournalBiotechnology and bioengineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Electron donors
  • Mono-oxygenation reaction
  • Pyridine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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