Cyclodextrin-enhanced biodegradation of phenanthrene

Jiann Ming Wang, Elizabeth M. Marlowe, Raina M. Miller-Maier, Mark L. Brusseau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


The effectiveness of in situ bioremediation in many systems may be constrained by low contaminant bioavailability due to limited aqueous solubility or a large magnitude of sorption. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effect of hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPCD) on phenanthrene solubilization and biodegradation. Results showed that analytical-grade HPCD can significantly increase the apparent solubility of phenanthrene. The increase in apparent solubility had a major impact on the biodegradation rate of phenanthrene. For example, in the presence of 105 mg L-1 HPCD, the substrate utilization rate increased from 0.17 mg h-1 to 0.93 mg h-1 while the apparent solubility was increased from 1.3 mg L-1 to 161.3 mg L-1. As a result, only 0.3% of the phenanthrene remained at the end of a 48 h incubation for the highest concentration of HPCD tested (105 mg L-1). In contrast, 45.2% of the phenanthrene remained in the absence of HPCD. Technical grade HPCD, which contains the biodegradable impurity propylene glycol, also increased the substrate utilization rate, although to a lesser extent than the analytical-grade HPCD. On the basis of these results, it appears that HPCD can significantly increase the bioavailability, and thereby enhance the biodegradation, of phenanthrene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1907-1912
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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