What is it about?

In the present study, batch incubation experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of nitrate addition on reductive dechlorination of PCP in paddy soil with consideration of iron transformation. Study results demonstrate that low concentrations (0, 0.5 and 1mM) of nitrate addition can enhance the reductive dechlorination of PCP and Fe(III) reduction, while high concentrations (5, 10, 20 and 30 mM) of nitrate addition caused the contrary. Significant positive correlations between PCP degradation rates and the formation rates of dissolved Fe(II) (pearson correlation coefficients r ¼ 0.965) and HCl-extractable Fe(II) (r ¼ 0.921) suggested that Fe(III) reduction may enhance PCP dechlorination. Furthermore, consistent variation trends of PCP degradation and the abundances of the genus Comamonas, capable of Fe(III) reduction coupled to reductive dechlorination, and of the genus Dehalobacter indicated the occurrence of microbial community variation induced by nitrate addition as a response to PCP dechlorination.

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Why is it important?

The excessive application of nitrogen fertilizer has resulted in high residual levels of nitrate in the agricultural environment of Guangdong province. In addition, PCP has also been used extensively as a wood preservative, molluscicide and clean-pond reagent in Guangdong province.


It is expected that the results derived from the interactions among nitrate, iron and PCP in the microcosm will offer theoretical guides for further research on the interaction mechanisms among the nitrogen cycle, iron cycle and reductive dechlorination of organic pollutants under natural conditions.

PhD Xiaoguang Ouyang
Chinese University of Hong Kong

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This page is a summary of: Effect of nitrate addition on reductive transformation of pentachlorophenol in paddy soil in relation to iron(III) reduction, Journal of Environmental Management, January 2014, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.10.020.
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