Enrichment cultivation of VOC-degrading bacteria using diffusion bioreactor and development of bacterial-immobilized biochar for VOC bioremediation

Dhiraj Kumar Chaudhary, Joung Ho Park, Pil Gon Kim, Yong Sik Ok, Yongseok Hong

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been globally reported at various sites. Currently, limited literature is available on VOC bioremediation using bacterial-immobilized biochar (BC–B). In this study, multiple VOC-degrading bacteria were enriched and isolated using a newly designed diffusion bioreactor. The most effective VOC-degrading bacteria were then immobilized on rice husk-derived pristine biochar (BC) to develop BC-B. Finally, the performances of BC and BC-B for VOCs (benzene, toluene, xylene, and trichloroethane) bioremediation were evaluated by establishing batch microcosm experiments (Control, C; bioconsortium, BS; pristine biochar, BC; and bacterial-immobilized biochar, BC-B). The results revealed that the newly designed diffusion bioreactor effectively simulated native VOC-contaminated conditions, easing the isolation of 38 diverse ranges of VOC-degrading bacterial strains. Members of the genus Pseudomonas were isolated in the highest (26.33%). The most effective bacterial strain was Pseudomonas sp. DKR-23, followed by Rhodococcus sp. Korf-18, which degraded multiple VOCs in the range of 52–75%. The batch microcosm experiment data showed that BC-B remediated the highest >90% of various VOCs, which was comparatively higher than that of BC, BS, and C. In addition, compared with C, the BS, BC, and BC-B microcosms abundantly reduced the half-life of various VOCs, implying a beneficial impact on the degradation behavior of VOCs. Altogether, this study suggests that a diffusion bioreactor system can be used as a cultivation device for the isolation of a wide range of VOC-degrading bacterial strains, and a compatible combination of biochar and bacteria may be an attractive and promising approach for the sustainable bioremediation of multiple VOCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121089
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Mar 1

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  • Bacteria isolation
  • Bacterial-immobilized biochar
  • Biochar
  • Bioremediation
  • Diffusion bioreactor system
  • Volatile organic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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