Use of ethylene and ethane as primary substrates for aerobic cometabolism of vinyl chloride
Abstract:A significant problem encountered with anaerobic reductive dechlorination of polychlorinated ethylenes during groundwater remediation is accumulation of vinyl chloride (VC). Even when reduction of VC proceeds to ethylene and/or ethane, low levels of VC may persist. The purpose of this study was to examine use of ethylene and ethane as primary substrates for aerobic cometabolism of VC. Both ethylene- and ethane-grown enrichment cultures (developed with activated sludge inoculum) readily consumed VC. The ethylene culture exhibited an initial preference for VC over ethylene but then switched after several weeks. This culture was unable to use ethane or VC as sole substrates. Although VC inhibited ethylene use, growth on ethylene still occurred in the presence of VC. The ethane-grown culture was able to use both VC and ethylene as sole substrates. When all three compounds were present, ethylene was consumed first, followed by VC and ethane. Thus, the presence of ethylene and/or ethane with VC may eliminate the need to add a primary substrate (for example, methane, toluene, or phenol) to sustain cometabolism of VC below the regulatory limit.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: May 1, 1996
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