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J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 1997 Feb-Mar;18(2-3):116-30.

Biodegradation of aromatic compounds under mixed oxygen/denitrifying conditions: a review.

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Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA.


Bioremediation of aromatic hydrocarbons in groundwater and sediments is often limited by dissolved oxygen. Many aromatic hydrocarbons degrade very slowly or not at all under anaerobic conditions. Nitrate is a good alternative electron acceptor to oxygen, and denitrifying bacteria are commonly found in the subsurface and in association with contaminated aquifer materials. Providing both nitrate and microaerophilic levels of oxygen may result in oxidation of the stable benzene rings in aromatic contaminants and allow for the intermediates of this oxidation to degrade via denitrification. The effects of using mixed electron acceptors on biodegradation of subsurface contaminants is unclear. Below some critical oxygen threshold, aerobic biodegradation is inhibited, however high levels of oxygen inhibit denitrification. The mechanisms which regulate electron transfer to oxygen and nitrate are complex. This review: 1) describes the factors which may affect the utilization of oxygen and nitrate as dual electron acceptors during biodegradation; 2) summarizes the incidence of dual use of nitrate and oxygen (aerobic denitrification); and 3) presents evidence of the effectiveness of bioremediation under mixed oxygen/nitrate conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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