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Frontiers of Environmental Science & Engineering

ISSN 2095-2201

ISSN 2095-221X(Online)

CN 10-1013/X

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2018 Impact Factor: 3.883

Front. Environ. Sci. Eng.    2019, Vol. 13 Issue (6) : 89
Advances in Fe(III) bioreduction and its application prospect for groundwater remediation: A review
Yu Jiang1,2, Beidou Xi1,2(), Rui Li2(), Mingxiao Li2, Zheng Xu2,3, Yuning Yang2,3, Shaobo Gao2,4
1. School of Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China
2. State Environmental Protection Key Laboratory of Simulation and Control of Groundwater Pollution, Chinese Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, Beijing 100012, China
3. Municipal and Environmental Engineering College, Jilin Jianzhu University, Changchun 130118, China
4. School of Water Resources and Environment, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
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Microbial Fe(III) reduction is closely related to the fate of pollutants.

Bioavailability of crystalline Fe(III) oxide is restricted due to thermodynamics.

Amorphous Fe(III) (hydro)oxides are more bioavailable.

Enrichment and incubation of Fe(III) reducing bacteria are significant.

Microbial Fe(III) reduction is a significant driving force for the biogeochemical cycles of C, O, P, S, N, and dominates the natural bio-purification of contaminants in groundwater (e.g., petroleum hydrocarbons, chlorinated ethane, and chromium). In this review, the mechanisms and environmental significance of Fe(III) (hydro)oxides bioreduction are summarized. Compared with crystalline Fe(III) (hydro)oxides, amorphous Fe(III) (hydro)oxides are more bioavailable. Ligand and electron shuttle both play an important role in microbial Fe(III) reduction. The restrictive factors of Fe(III) (hydro)oxides bioreduction should be further investigated to reveal the characteristics and mechanisms of the process. It will improve the bioavailability of crystalline Fe(III) (hydro)oxides and accelerate the anaerobic oxidation efficiency of the reduction state pollutants. Furthermore, the approach to extract, culture, and incubate the functional Fe(III) reducing bacteria from actual complicated environment, and applying it to the bioremediation of organic, ammonia, and heavy metals contaminated groundwater will become a research topic in the future. There are a broad application prospects of Fe(III) (hydro)oxides bioreduction to groundwater bioremediation, which includes the in situ injection and permeable reactive barriers and the innovative Kariz wells system. The study provides an important reference for the treatment of reduced pollutants in contaminated groundwater.

Keywords Microbial Fe(III) reduction      Mechanism      Groundwater contamination      Remediation     
Corresponding Authors: Beidou Xi,Rui Li   
Issue Date: 27 November 2019
 Cite this article:   
Yu Jiang,Beidou Xi,Rui Li, et al. Advances in Fe(III) bioreduction and its application prospect for groundwater remediation: A review[J]. Front. Environ. Sci. Eng., 2019, 13(6): 89.
Fig.1  Microbial reduction processes in a petroleum-contaminated aquifer.
Fig.2  Microbial strategies mediating electron transfer to crystalline Fe(III) (hydro)oxides (L refer to ligands): Direct contact reduction through the flagellum (a), Indirect reduction by ligands (b) and electron shuttles (c).
Organic contaminants Degradation reaction References
Formic acid HCOO? + 2Fe(III)→HCO3? + 2Fe(II) + 2H+ Lovley et al. (1994);
Coates et al. (1999); Aburto-Medina and Ball (2015);
Farkas et al. (2017)
Lactic acid CH3CHOHCOO? + 4Fe(III) + 2H2O→CH3COO? + HCO3? + 4Fe(II) + 5H+
Pyruvic acid CH3COCOO? + 2Fe(III) + 2H2O→CH3COO? + HCO3?+ 2Fe(II) + 3H+
Benzoic acid C7H6O2 + 30Fe(III) + 19H2O→7HCO3? + 30Fe(II) + 37H+
Methylbenzene C7H8 + 36Fe(III) + 21H2O→7HCO3? + 36Fe(II) + 43H+
Phenol C6H5OH+ 28Fe(III) + 17H2O→6HCO3? + 28Fe(II) + 3H+
P-cresol C7H8O+ 34Fe(III) + 20H2O→7HCO3? + 34Fe(II) + 41H+
Syringic acid C9H10O5 + 36Fe(III) + 22H2O→9HCO3? + 36Fe(II) + 45H+
Ferulic acid C10H10O4 + 42Fe(III) + 26H2O→10HCO3? + 42Fe(II) + 52H+
Nicotinic acid C6H5NO2 + 22Fe(III) + 16H2O→6HCO3? + 22Fe(II) + NH4+ + 27H+
M-hydroxy benzoic acid C7H6O3 + 28Fe(III) + 18H2O→7HCO3? + 28Fe(II) + 35H+
2,5-DHBA C7H6O4 + 26Fe(III) + 17H2O→6HCO3? + 26Fe(II) + 32H+
M-cresol C7H8O+ 34Fe(III) + 20H2O→7HCO3? + 34Fe(II) + 41H+
O-phthalic acid C8H6O4 + 30Fe(III) + 20H2O+ 8HCO3? + 30Fe(II) + 38H+
Tab.1  Degradation  of organic compounds with Fe(III) (hydro)oxides reduction
Environment Degradation reaction Primary product References
Wetland soil NH4+ + 6FeOOH+ 10H+→NO2? + 6Fe2+ + 10H2O Fe2+, NO2- Clement et al. (2005)
Sludge after domestication NH4+ + 2H2O+ 6Fe3+ →NO2? + 6Fe2+ + 8H+ Fe2+, NO2?, NO3?, N2 Park et al. (2009)
NH4+ + 1.32NO2?→0.26NO3? + 1.02N2
Upland soil 3Fe(OH)3 + 5H+ + NH4+→3Fe2+ + 9H2O+ 0.5N2 Fe2+, NO2?, NO3?, N2 Yang et al. (2012)
6Fe(OH)3 + 10H+ + NH4+→6Fe2+ + 16H2O+ NO2?
8Fe(OH)3 + 14H+ + NH4+→8Fe2+ + 21H2O+ NO3?
Tab.2  Reactions  of NH4+ and Fe3+ in different environments
Fig.3  Methods of engineering application: In situ injection (a), permeable reactive barriers (b), kariz system (c).
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