Verification of Heme Catalytic Cycle with 5-Aminosalicylic Acid and Its Application to Soil Remediation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons

Chung, Namhyun;Park, Kapsung;Stevens, David K.;Kang, Guyoung

  • Received : 2014.02.04
  • Accepted : 2014.05.01
  • Published : 2014.06.30


Catalytic degradation of pentachlorophenol in soil by heme and hydrogen peroxide has been hypothesized to occur through nonspecific catalytic reactions similar to those involving ligninase. The present study examines the evidence for a heme catalytic mechanism for the oxidation of organic compounds. In the presence of hydrogen peroxide, heme is converted to the ferryl heme radical (Hm-$Fe^{+4{\cdot}}$), which can oxidize organic compounds, such as 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA). A second 5-ASA may later be oxidized by ferryl heme (Hm-$Fe^{+4}$), which reverts to the ferric heme state (Hm-$Fe^{+3}$) to complete the cycle. We believe that this catalytic cycle is involved in the degradation of hazardous pollutants, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Remediation via heme catalytic reactions of PAHs in soil from a pole yard was evaluated, and about 96% of PAHs was found to disappear within 42 days after treatment with heme and hydrogen peroxide. In addition, benzo[a]pyrene and six other PAHs were undetectable among a total of 16 PAH compounds examined. Therefore, we propose heme catalysis as a novel technology for the remediation of hazardous compounds in contaminated soil.


Heme;Hydrogen peroxide;Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs);Remediation;5-Aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA)


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Supported by : Korea Ministry of Environment