Transition metal catalyst-assisted reductive dechlorination of perchloroethylene by anaerobic aquifer enrichments

Brady D. Lee, Kastli D. Schaller, Mary E. Watwood, William A. Apel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Bioremediation of groundwater contaminated with chlorinated solvents, such as perchloroethylene (PCE) or carbon tetrachloride, can be accomplished by adding nutrients to stimulate a microbial community capable of reductive dechlorination. However, biotransformation of these solvents, especially PCE, typically occurs very slowly or not at all. Experiments were conducted to evaluate whether the addition of transition metal tetrapyrrole catalysts would increase the reductive transformation of PCE to trichloroethylene (TCE) by sulfatereducing enrichment cultures. Batch assays were used to test vitamin B 12 and two synthetic sulfonatophenyl porphine catalysts for the stimulation of reductive dechlorination of PCE by sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) enriched from aquifer sediments from two locations at Dover Air Force Base. Cells from the enrichments were concentrated and added to batch assay vials. Vials containing SRB cells amended with vitamin B 12 exhibited enhanced transformation of PCE to TCE compared with reactors amended with either synthetic catalysts or reactors containing cells alone. Methane production was observed in reactors that exhibited maximum levels of dechlorination. Storage of aquifer sediments between enrichments led to decreased levels of PCE dechlorination in subsequent assays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-110
Number of pages14
JournalBioremediation Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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