The Gibbs free energy of formation of halogenated benzenes, benzoates and phenols and their potential role as electron acceptros in anaerobic environments

Jan Dolfing, Igor Novak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The sequence of redox reactions in the natural environment generally follows the electron affinity of the electron acceptors present and can be rationalized by the redox potentials of the appropriate half-reactions. Answering the question how halogenated aromatics fit into this sequence requires information on their Gibbs free energy of formation values. Over two decades ago this journal published Gibbs free energy data for various classes of aromatic compounds based on Benson's group contribution method. Since then more accurate quantum chemical calculation methods have become available. Here we use these methods to estimate enthalpy and Gibbs free energy of formation values of all chlorinated and brominated phenols. These data and similar state-of-the-art datasets for halogenated benzenes and benzoates were then used to calculate two-electron redox potentials of halogenated aromatics for standard conditions and for pH 7. The results underline the need to take speciation into consideration when evaluating redox potentials at pH 7 and highlight the fact that halogenated aromatics are excellent electron acceptors in aqueous environments. The carbon-halogen bond represents a considerable source of energy; developing technologies to harness this energy, for example in microbial fuel cells, seems a worthwhile challenge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages13
JournalBiodegradation
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015

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