Electrobiocatalysis for bioremediation of (halogenated) organic pollutants


This project is aimed at decontaminating finely-grained contaminated materials from street surfaces and canal dredging by an electrobiocatalytic approach.  The vertical electrobiocatalytic reactor is designed for simultaneous microbial reductive dechlorination of PCBs (at the cathode) and oxidation of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons (at the anode). The evolution of the system is monitored by multiple in situ measurements, including potential-current relationship, pH, pollutant concentration, gas production, total organic matter content, and microbial community composition and activity (with a particular focus on dehalogenating bacteria such as Dehalococcoides spp.). The specific influence of the source inoculum, and the addition of (an) easily degradable carbon source(s), biosurfactants, laccase enzymes and/or redox mediators is analysed.

Academic research partners: GOLEM project: Water Pollution Control Lab, ULB (Prof M. Verbanck, Ir Gwenaël Delié); Unit of Bioengineering, Université Catholique de Louvain (Prof. P. Gérin); 4MAT Lab, ULB (Dr Pierre D’Ans); Plant Ecology and Biogeochemistry Lab, ULB (Prof. N. Noret); Stochastic Environmental Research Lab, Université Catholique de Louvain (Prof. P. Bogaert)

Period of the study: March 2019- February 2022.

Financial support: Innoviris – Bridge project “GOLEM: A holistic green chemistry approach to deal with Brussels finely-grained contaminated materials from street surfaces and Canal dredging and to convert them into valuable materials” (coordinator: Prof M. Verbanck)

ESA members participating to the project: George, I.