The simultaneous anaerobic transformation of tetrachloroethene (PCE) and carbon tetrachloride (CT) was evaluated in a continuous flow column. The column was packed with quartz sand and bioaugmented with the Evanite culture (EV) that is capable of transforming PCE to ethene. Azizian and Semprini (2016) reported that PCE and CT could be simultaneously transformed in the column, with PCE (0.1mM) transformed mainly to ethene and CT (0.015mM) to chloroform (CF) (20%) and an unknown transformation product, likely carbon dioxide (CO2). The fermentation of propionate, formed from lactate fermentation, was inhibited after the transformation of CT, likely from the exposure to CF. Reported here is the second phase of that study where a second bioaugmentation of the EV culture was made to reintroduce a lactate and propionate fermenting population to the column. Effective lactate and propionate fermentation were restored with a H2 concentration of ~25nM maintained in the column effluent. PCE (0.1mM) was effectively transformed to ethene (~98%) and vinyl chloride (VC) (~2%). Unlabeled CT (0.015 to 0.03mM) was completely transformed with a transient build-up of CF and chloromethane (CM), which were subsequently removed below their detection limits. A series of transient tests were initiated through the addition of carbon-13 labeled CT (13CT), with concentrations gradually increased from 0.03 to 0.10mM. GC–MS analysis of the column effluent showed that 13C labeled CO2 (13CO2) was formed, ranging from 82 to 93% of the 13CT transformed, with the transient increases in 13CO2 associated with the increased concentration of 13CT. A modified COD analysis indicated a lesser amount of 13CT (18%) was transformed to soluble products, while 13CO2 represented 82% the 13CT transformed. In a final transient test, the influent lactate concentration was decreased from 1.1 to 0.67mM. The transformation of both CT and PCE changed dramatically. Only 59% of the 13CT was transformed, primarily to CF. 13CO2 concentrations gradually decreased to background levels, indicating CO2 was no longer a transformation product. PCE transformation resulted in the following percentage of products formed: cDCE (60%), VC (36%), and ethene (4%). Incomplete propionate fermentation was also observed, consistent with the build-up of CF and the decrease in H2 concentrations to approximately 2nM. The results clearly demonstrate that high concentrations of CT were transformed to CO2, and effective PCE dehalogenation to ethene was maintained when excess lactate was fed and propionate was effectively fermented. However, when the lactate concentration was reduced, both PCE and CT transformation and propionate fermentation were negatively impacted.
Journal of Contaminant Hydrology – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2017
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