The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Molecular approach to evaluate biostimulation of 1,2-dibromoethane in contaminated groundwater

TitleMolecular approach to evaluate biostimulation of 1,2-dibromoethane in contaminated groundwater
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsBaek K-H, McKeever R, Rieber K, Sheppard D, Park C, Ergas SJ, Nüsslein K
JournalBioresource Technology
Start Page207
Date Published11/2012
Keywords1, 2-Dibromoethane, Aerobic biodegradation, Biostimulation, groundwater, Leaded gasoline

This study investigated the effect of co-substrate amendments on EDB biodegradation under aerobic conditions. Microcosms were established using contaminated soil and groundwater samples and maintained under in situ conditions to determine EDB degradation rates, and the diversity and abundance of EDB degrading indigenous bacteria. After 100days of incubation, between 25% and 56% of the initial EDB was degraded in the microcosms, with added jet fuel providing highest degradation rates (2.97±0.49yr(-1)). In all microcosms, the quantity of dehalogenase genes did not change significantly, while the number of BTEX monooxygenase and phenol hydroxylase genes increased with jet fuel amendments. These results indicate that EDB was not degraded by prior dehalogenation, but rather by cometabolism with adapted indigenous microorganisms. This is also reflected in the history of the plume, which originated from an aviation gasoline pipeline leak. This study suggests that biostimulation of EDB is possible at aerobic groundwater sites.