Role of quinones in the biodegradation of priority pollutants: A review

J. A. Field, F. J. Cervantes, F. P. Van der Zee, G. Lettinga

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Evidence is accumulating that inert humic substances can play important roles in the anaerobic degradation of priority pollutants by shuttling electrons. This paper reviews the roles of humus and quinone analogues as electron acceptors, redox mediators and electron donors for microbial and abiotic degradation processes. An eventual technology based on pumping quinones as terminal electron acceptors into aquifers and sediments to stimulate xenobiotic degradation offers promising potential. Also quinone redox mediators can be considered to accelerate reductive transformations (e.g. dechlorination, azo cleavage) of priority pollutants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-222
Number of pages8
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2000
EventWaste Minimisation and End of Pipe Treatment in Chemical and Petrochemical Industries - Merida, Mexico
Duration: Nov 14 1999Nov 18 1999


  • Anaerobic biodegradation
  • Electron acceptor
  • Humus
  • Quinones
  • Redox mediator
  • Xenobiotic pollutants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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