Combining chemical and biological treatments is a potentially economic approach to remove high concentration of recalcitrant compounds from wastewaters. In the present study, the biodegradation of 1,4-benzoquinone, an intermediate compound formed during phenol oxidation by chlorine dioxide, was investigated using Pseudomonas putida (ATCC 17484) in batch and continuous bioreactors. Batch experiments were conducted to determine the effects of 1,4-benzoquinone concentration and temperature on the microbial activity and biodegradation kinetics. Using the generated data, the maximum specific growth rate and biodegradation rate were determined as 0.94 h(-1) and 6.71 mg of 1,4-benzoquinone l(-1) h(-1). Biodegradation in a continuous bioreactor indicated a linear relationship between substrate loading and biodegradation rates prior to wash out of the cells, with a maximum biodegradation rate of 246 mg l(-1) h(-1) observed at a loading rate of 275 mg l(-1) h(-1) (residence time: 1.82 h). Biokinetic parameters were also determined using the steady state substrate and biomass concentrations at various dilution rates and compared to those obtained in batch cultures.