Biodegradation of individual and multiple chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons by methane-oxidizing cultures. Academic Article uri icon


  • The microbial degradation of chlorinated and nonchlorinated methanes, ethanes, and ethanes by a mixed methane-oxidizing culture grown under chemostat and batch conditions is evaluated and compared with that by two pure methanotrophic strains: CAC1 (isolated from the mixed culture) and Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b. With the exception of 1,1-dichloroethylene, the transformation capacity (Tc) for each chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbon was generally found to be in inverse proportion to its chlorine content within each aliphatic group (i.e., methanes, ethanes, and ethenes), whereas similar trends were not observed for degradation rate constants. Tc trends were similar for all methane-oxidizing cultures tested. None of the cultures were able to degrade the fully chlorinated aliphatics such as perchloroethylene and carbon tetrachloride. Of the four cultures tested, the chemostat-grown mixed culture exhibited the highest Tc for trichloroethylene, cis-1,2-dichloroethylene, tetrachloroethane, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and 1,2-dichloroethane, whereas the pure batch-grown OB3b culture exhibited the highest Tc for all other compounds tested. The product toxicity of chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons in a mixture containing multiple compounds was cumulative and predictable when using parameters measured from the degradation of individual compounds. The Tc for each chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbon in a mixture (Tcmix) and the total Tc for the mixture (sigma Tcmix) are functions of the individual Tc, the initial substrate concentration (S0), and the first-order rate constant (k/Ks) of each compound in the mixture, indicating the importance of identifying the properties and compositions of all potentially degradable compounds in a contaminant mixture.

published proceedings

  • Appl Environ Microbiol

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Chang, H. L., & Alvarez-Cohen, L.

citation count

  • 78

complete list of authors

  • Chang, HL||Alvarez-Cohen, L

publication date

  • September 1996