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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2005 Jun;71(6):3355-8.

Anaerobic degradation of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and o-xylene in sediment-free iron-reducing enrichment cultures.

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  • 1Lehrstuhl Umweltmineralogie, Zentrum für Angewandte Geowissenschaften, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Germany.


Monoaromatic hydrocarbons such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX) are widespread contaminants in groundwater. We examined the anaerobic degradation of BTEX compounds with amorphous ferric oxide as electron acceptor. Successful enrichment cultures were obtained for all BTEX substrates both in the presence and absence of AQDS (9,10-anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonic acid). The electron balances showed a complete anaerobic oxidation of the aromatic compounds to CO2. This is the first report on the anaerobic degradation of o-xylene and ethylbenzene in sediment-free iron-reducing enrichment cultures.

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