The impact of chlorinated solvent co-contaminants on the biodegradation kinetics of 1,4-dioxane. Academic Article uri icon


  • 1,4-Dioxane (dioxane), a probable human carcinogen, is used as a solvent stabilizer for 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA) and other chlorinated solvents. Consequently, TCA and its abiotic breakdown product 1,1-dichloroethene (DCE) are common co-contaminants of dioxane in groundwater. The aerobic degradation of dioxane by microorganisms has been demonstrated in laboratory studies, but the potential effects of environmentally relevant chlorinated solvent co-contaminants on dioxane biodegradation have not yet been investigated. This work evaluated the effects of TCA and DCE on the transformation of dioxane by dioxane-metabolizing strain Pseudonocardia dioxanivorans CB1190, dioxane co-metabolizing strain Pseudonomas mendocina KR1, as well as Escherichia coli expressing the toluene monooxygenase of strain KR1. In all experiments, both TCA and DCE inhibited the degradation of dioxane at the tested concentrations. The inhibition was not competitive and was reversible for strain CB1190, which did not transform the chlorinated solvents. For both strain KR1 and toluene monooxygenase-expressing E. coli, inhibition of dioxane degradation by chlorinated solvents was competitive and irreversible, and the chlorinated solvents were degraded concurrently with dioxane. These data suggest that the strategies for biostimulation or bioaugmentation of dioxane will need to consider the presence of chlorinated solvents during site remediation.

published proceedings

  • Chemosphere

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Mahendra, S., Grostern, A., & Alvarez-Cohen, L.

citation count

  • 66

complete list of authors

  • Mahendra, Shaily||Grostern, Ariel||Alvarez-Cohen, Lisa

publication date

  • January 2013