Anaerobic co-metabolic biodegradation of tetrabromobisphenol A using a bioelectrochemical system

Mengjie Fan, Nannan Zhou, Peiwen Li, Liuliu Chen, Yingwen Chen, Shubao Shen, Shemin Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Tetrabromobisphenol A(TBBPA), a pollutant in industrial wastewaters, needs to be removed due to its high toxicity and persistence. The main biodegradation pathway for TBBPA has been studied, and bisphenol A(BPA), which is toxic to the environment, is recognized as the general terminal product. In this study, we explored a new approach for the anaerobic biodegradation of TBBPA in a bioelectrochemical system (BES) through co-metabolic degradation of TBBPA with glucose. The half-life of TBBPA was significantly reduced to 13.5 h−1 at 25 μg/l of TBBPA. With an increase in the concentration of TBBPA, the removal rates of TBBPA rose to more than eighty percent. Based on the analysis of the products, we found that the degradation products of TBBPA were 2,6-dibromo-4-(1-methyl-1-phenylethyl) phenol, (double-benzenes product) and 2,6-dibromo-4-(prop-1-en-2-yl) phenol (single-benzene product), rather than BPA. Simultaneously, we proposed two degradation pathways for TBBPA in a BES system. According to the microbial diversity analysis of the anode biofilm, we speculated that the microorganism responsible for the biodegradation of TBBPA was Azoarcus. Additionally, we briefly analyzed the effect of TBBPA on the performance of BES system to pave the way for the further analysis of the interaction between the TBBPA and the BES system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-800
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
StatePublished - Jan 5 2017


  • Bioelectrochemical system
  • Co-metabolic degradation
  • Tetrabromobisphenol A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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