Defluorination of PFAS by Acidimicrobium sp. strain A6 and potential applications for remediation

Peter R. Jaffé, Shan Huang, Jinhee Park, Melany Ruiz-Urigüen, Weitao Shuai, Matthew Sima

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Acidimicrobium sp. strain A6 is a recently discovered autotrophic bacterium that is capable of oxidizing ammonium while reducing ferric iron and is relatively common in acidic iron-rich soils. The genome of Acidimicrobium sp. strain A6 contains sequences for several reductive dehalogenases, including a gene for a previously unreported reductive dehalogenase, rdhA. Incubations of Acidimicrobium sp. strain A6 in the presence of perfluorinated substances, such as PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid, C8HF15O2) or PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, C8HF17O3S), have shown that fluoride, as well as shorter carbon chain PFAAs (perfluoroalkyl acids), are being produced, and the rdhA gene is expressed during these incubations. Results from initial gene knockout experiments indicate that the enzyme associated with the rdhA gene plays a key role in the PFAS defluorination by Acidimicrobium sp. strain A6. Experiments focusing on the defluorination kinetics by Acidimicrobium sp. strain A6 show that the defluorination kinetics are proportional to the amount of ammonium oxidized. To explore potential applications for PFAS bioremediation, PFAS-contaminated biosolids were augmented with Fe(III) and Acidimicrobium sp. strain A6, resulting in PFAS degradation. Since the high demand of Fe(III) makes growing Acidimicrobium sp. strain A6 in conventional rectors challenging, and since Acidimicrobium sp. strain A6 was shown to be electrogenic, it was grown in the absence of Fe(III) in microbial electrolysis cells, where it did oxidize ammonium and degraded PFAS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFluorine Metabolism, Transport and Enzymatic Chemistry
EditorsRandy B. Stockbridge
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages34
ISBN (Print)9780443236433
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Publication series

NameMethods in Enzymology
ISSN (Print)0076-6879
ISSN (Electronic)1557-7988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


  • Acidimicrobium sp. strain A6
  • Ammonium oxidation
  • Biosolids
  • Degradation kinetics
  • Feammox
  • Fluoride ion transporter
  • Iron reduction
  • Microbial electrolysis cell
  • PFAS defluorination
  • Reductive dehalogenase


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