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Your Environment. Your Health.

Progress Reports: Medical University of South Carolina: Integrating Microbial Biostimulation and Electrolytic Aeration to Degrade POPs

Superfund Research Program

Integrating Microbial Biostimulation and Electrolytic Aeration to Degrade POPs

Project Leader: Harold D. May
Grant Number: R01ES016197
Funding Period: 2008-2011

Progress Reports

Year:   2010  2009 

Bioaugmentation of sediment contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are persistent organic pollutants (POPs), is being tested with bioactive granulated activated carbon (GAC) containing PCB dechlorinating and degrading bacteria. In addition, electron donors and acceptors for microbial PCB dechlorination and degradation are being delivered electrochemically in order to further stimulate the biodegradation of these POPs. Each of these aims is being met with success, including significant reductions in the concentration of weathered PCBs due to the bioaugmentation or bioelectrochemical approaches. Mechanistically this is due to the addition of specific microorganisms with GAC, cyclic polarization of electric currents to sediment, and the electrochemical stimulation of anaerobic oxidation of PCBs. These new discoveries and plans for future testing and application will be discussed.

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