Hydroquinone: Properties and microbial degradation processes

Francisco J. Enguita, Ana Lúcia Leitão

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Hydroquinone (1,4-dihydroxybenzene) is commonly used in human activities as well as in the rubber and food industry. Hydroquinone is frequently detected in aquatic ecosystems, as it could be partially removed or generated during the wastewater treatment process. This phenolic compound is considered an environmental pollutant and its removal is of great concern because of the high toxicity effect on living organisms. Hydroquinone can also be produced as a pathway metabolite during phenol, chlorophenol and benzene biotransformation. Furthermore, it can be auto-oxidized to form 1,4- benzoquinone, a product that has higher toxicity than the parent compound. The inherent versatility of microorganisms allows them to participate in pollutant transformations. Several microorganisms catalyze mineralization and/or hydroquinone transformation, being an attractive tool for removing this pollutant from the environment and reduce chemical toxicity. This review underscores the mechanisms of hydroquinone biotransformation and the role of microorganisms and their enzymes in this process, with special focus on fungi.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBioremediation: Processes, Challenges and Future Prospects
EditorsJ. B. Velázquez-Fernández, S. Muñiz-Hernández
Place of PublicationNew York, USA
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781629485157
ISBN (Print)9781629485133
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014

Publication series

NameEnvironmental Remediation Technologies, Regulations and Safety
PublisherNova Science Publishers


  • bioremediation
  • enzymes
  • Hydroquinone
  • microbial catabolic pathways


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