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The Development of a Phytoremediation Technique for the Detoxification of Soils Contaminated with Phenolic Compounds Using Horseradish Peroxidase ( Armoracia rusticana ): Preliminary Results

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The proposed phytoremediation technique is based on the successful exploitation and optimization of oxidative coupling, mediated by horseradish peroxidase. Susceptibility to degradation of a selection of phenolic compounds, in solution, by horseradish peroxidase appears to be structurally related and was found to be of the order 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) > 4-chlorophenol (4-CP) > 2-chlorophenol (2-CP). Only 1.89% of 2,4-DCP, at an initial concentration of 5 m M , remained unchanged at the end of the experiment. Reaction rates between purified horseradish peroxidase and 2,4-DCP were found to be extremely rapid with 74% of the substrate removed from solution during the first 30 s. Inhibition of the reaction by the heavy metals Cd, Zn, Ni, and Pb at concentrations of 100 mg/l is of concern because these metals are often present in contaminated soils. H 2 O 2 has a dominant role in optimizing peroxidase activity in crude horseradish extracts. Fluctuations in temperature and pH, normally experienced in soils, did not appear to have a detrimental impact on peroxidase activity. However, the functioning of the enzyme is seriously affected at a pH ≤ 3. All reactions in this study were carried out in solution.
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Keywords: bound residue; heavy metals; humic substances; oxidative coupling

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemical and Life Sciences, Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland, +(051) 302665, +(051) 302679 2: Centre For Soils Research, Teagasc, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, Ireland

Publication date: April 1, 1999

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