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Use of ethylene and ethane as primary substrates for aerobic cometabolism of vinyl chloride

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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.

Keywords: BIODEGRADATION; COMETABOLISM; ETHANE; ETHYLENE; GROUNDWATER; REMEDIATION; TRICHLOROETHYLENE; VINYL CHLORIDE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143096X127767

Publication date: May 1, 1996

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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