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Biodegradation. 1999;10(4):297-305.

Anaerobic transformation of 1,1,1-trichloroethane by municipal digester sludge.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.


Anaerobic transformations of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA), 1,1-dichloroethane (DCA), and chloroethane (CA) were studied with sludge from a lab-scale, municipal wastewater sludge digester. TCA was biologically transformed to DCA and CA and further to ethane by reductive dechlorination. TCA was also converted to acetic acid and 1,1-dichloroethene (11DCE) by cell-free extract. 11DCE was further biologically converted to ethene. This pathway was confirmed by transformation tests of TCA, DCA and CA, by tests with cell-free extract, and by chloride release during TCA degradation. With cell-free extract, acetic acid accounted for approximately 90% of the TCA transformed; tests with live cells indicate that the fraction of TCA transformed by this pathway decreased with lower biomass. The dechlorination of DCA to CA and CA to ethane was not stoichiometric. A high rate of TCA removal was observed under the experimental conditions. The results indicate that removal of TCA in anaerobic digestion should be complete, but DCA and CA could persist in a normally operating digester.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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