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Diatom-assisted biomicroreactor targeting the complete removal of perfluorinated compounds

Albert, Karunya, Hsieh, Pei-Ying, Chen, Tsai-Hsuan, Hou, Chia-Hung, Hsu, Hsin-Yun
Journal of hazardous materials 2020 v.384 pp. 121491
Bacillariophyceae, adsorption, bioremediation, catalytic activity, hydrogen peroxide, hydroxyl radicals, iron, magnetic separation, nanoparticles, oxygen, perfluorocarbons, pollutants
Persistent perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) have been recognized as a global environmental issue. Developing methods without leading to additional burden in nature will be essential for PFCs removal. Herein, we functionalized iron nanoparticles on living diatom (Dt) to efficiently enable the Fenton reaction and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Iron nanoparticles at the surface of living diatom act as promising catalytic agents to trigger OH radical generation from H₂O₂. Dt plays dual roles: i) as solid support for effective adsorption, and ii) it supplies oxygen and inherently produces ROS under stress conditions, which improves removal efficiency of PFCs. We also demonstrated its reusability by simple magnetic separation and 85% of decomposition efficiency could still be achieved. This newly developed diatom-assisted bioremediation strategy enables green and efficient PFC decomposition and shall be readily applicable to other persistent pollutants.