Impact and application of electron shuttles on the redox (bio)transformation of contaminants: A review
During the last two decades, extensive research has explored the catalytic effects of different organic molecules with redox mediating properties on the anaerobic (bio)transformation of a wide variety of organic and inorganic compounds. The accumulated evidence points at a major role of electron shuttles in the redox conversion of several distinct contaminants, both by chemical and biological mechanisms. Many microorganisms are capable of reducing redox mediators linked to the anaerobic oxidation of organic and inorganic substrates. Electron shuttles can also be chemically reduced by electron donors commonly found in anaerobic environments (e.g. sulfide and ferrous iron). Reduced electron shuttles can transfer electrons to several distinct electron-withdrawing compounds, such as azo dyes, polyhalogenated compounds, nitroaromatics and oxidized metalloids, among others. Moreover, reduced molecules with redox properties can support the microbial reduction of electron acceptors, such as nitrate, arsenate and perchlorate. The aim of this review paper is to summarize the results of reductive (bio)transformation processes catalyzed by electron shuttles and to indicate which aspects should be further investigated to enhance the applicability of redox mediators on the (bio)transformation of contaminants.
Journal: Biotechnology Advances - Volume 27, Issue 3, May–June 2009, Pages 256–277