Topics in Catalysis

, Volume 61, Issue 15–17, pp 1665–1671 | Cite as

Degradation of Pyrene Contaminated Soil with Spiked 14C Pyrene by Hemoglobin Catalysis

  • Guyoung KangEmail author
  • Sungjong Lee
  • Haein Keum
  • Namhyun ChungEmail author
Original Paper


Hemoglobin (Hb) is a member of the hemeprotein family that undergoes non-specific catalytic chain reactions in the presence of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The catalytic ability of Hb to degrade the carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon pyrene was demonstrated using soil contaminated with 14C pyrene. Three bench-scale laboratory tests were performed using 14C pyrene in the presence of a buffer, H2O2, and a combination of Hb and H2O2. The initial pyrene concentration of the contaminated soil was set to 11 mg/kg, with 5,500,000 dpm of 14C pyrene. After a catalytic reaction for 24 h, the results showed that 17% of pyrene was degraded by H2O2, 38% of pyrene was degraded by Hb in combination with H2O2, and 0.13 and 1.2% of 14C pyrene were mineralized by H2O2 and Hb in combination with H2O2, respectively. An analysis of the products from the reaction involving Hb in combination with H2O2 revealed that 15.9% of the 14C intermediates in the acetonitrile fraction were polar products. After the catalytic reaction, 21 intermediate compounds were found via fraction analysis. The results suggested that Hb catalysis could be used to treat pyrene-contaminated soil as a novel catalytic technology for the remediation of hazardous materials in soil.


Hemoglobin Hydrogen peroxide Mass balance 14C pyrene Remediation 



This study was supported by the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (2017).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental ScienceHankuk University of Foreign StudiesYoungin-siRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Biosystems and Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences and BiotechnologyKorea UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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