Electrolytic methanogenic-methanotrophic coupling for tetrachloroethylene bioremediation: proof of concept

  1. Get@NRC: Electrolytic methanogenic-methanotrophic coupling for tetrachloroethylene bioremediation: proof of concept (Opens in a new window)
DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1021/es702121u
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Journal titleEnvironmental science & technology
Pages30113017; # of pages: 7
SubjectAnaerobiosis; Biodegradation, Environmental; Bioreactors; Electrolysis; Methane; Oxygen; Tetrachloroethylene
AbstractCoupling of methanogenic and methanotrophic catabolisms was performed in a single-stage technology equipped with a water electrolysis cell placed in the effluent recirculation loop. The electrolysis-generated hydrogen served as an electron donor for both bicarbonate reduction into CH4 and reductive dechlorination, while the O2 and CH4, supported the cometabolic oxidation of chlorinated intermediates left over by the tetrachloroethylene (PCE) transformation. The electrolytical methanogenic/methanotrophic coupled (eMaMoC) process was tested in a laboratory-scale setup at PCE loads ranging from 5 to 50 micromol/L(rx) x d (inlet concentrations from 4 to 11 mg/L), and at various hydraulic residence times (HRT). Degradation followed essentially a reductive dechlorination pathway from PCE to cis-1,2-dichloroethene (DCE), and an oxidative pathway from DCE to CO2. PCE reductive dechlorination to DCE was consistently over 98% while a maximum oxidative DCE mineralization of 89% was obtained at a load of 4.3 micromol PCE/ L(rx) x d and an HRT of 6 days. Controlling dissolved oxygen concentrations within a relatively low range (2-3 mg/L) seemed instrumental to sustain the overall degradation capacity. Degradation kinetics were further evaluated: the apparent half-saturation constant (K(s)) had to be set relatively high (29 microM) for the simulated data to best fit the experimental ones. In spite of such kinetic limitations, the eMaMoC system, while fueled by water electrolysis, was effective in building and sustaining a functional methanogenic/methanotrophic consortium capable of significant PCE mineralization in a single-stage process. Hence, degradation standards are within reach so long as the methanotrophic DCE-oxidizing potential, including substrate affinity, are optimized and HRT accordingly adjusted.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; NRC Biotechnology Research Institute
Peer reviewedNo
NPARC number12328398
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Record identifierd226b294-ee59-4078-9c54-d80dbe19ade5
Record created2009-09-10
Record modified2016-05-09
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