Send to

Choose Destination
Environ Sci Technol. 2007 Feb 1;41(3):963-70.

Experimental evaluation and mathematical modeling of microbially enhanced tetrachloroethene (PCE) dissolution.

Author information

School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and School of Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology, 311 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0512, USA.


Experiments to assess metabolic reductive dechlorination (chlororespiration) at high concentration levels consistent with the presence of free-phase tetrachloroethene (PCE) were performed using three PCE-to-cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cis-DCE) dechlorinating pure cultures (Sulfurospirillum multivorans, Desulfuromonas michiganensis strain BB1, and Geobacter lovleyi strain SZ) and Desulfitobacterium sp. strain Viet1, a PCE-to-trichloroethene (TCE) dechlorinating isolate. Despite recent evidence suggesting bacterial PCE-to-cis-DCE dechlorination occurs at or near PCE saturation (0.9-1.2 mM), all cultures tested ceased dechlorinating at approximately 0.54 mM PCE. In the presence of PCE dense nonaqueous phase liquid (DNAPL), strains BB1 and SZ initially dechlorinated, but TCE and cis-DCE production ceased when aqueous PCE concentrations reached inhibitory levels. For S. multivorans, dechlorination proceeded at a rate sufficient to maintain PCE concentrations below inhibitory levels, resulting in continuous cis-DCE production and complete dissolution of the PCE DNAPL. A novel mathematical model, which accounts for loss of dechlorinating activity at inhibitory PCE concentrations, was developed to simultaneously describe PCE-DNAPL dissolution and reductive dechlorination kinetics. The model predicted that conditions corresponding to a bioavailability number (Bn) less than 1.25 x 10(-2) will lead to dissolution enhancement with the tested cultures, while conditions corresponding to a Bn greater than this threshold value can result in accumulation of PCE to inhibitory dissolved-phase levels, limiting PCE transformation and dissolution enhancement. These results suggest that microorganisms incapable of dechlorinating at high PCE concentrations can enhance the dissolution and transformation of PCE from free-phase DNAPL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center