The degradation of trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE), in incubations where ammonium was oxidized while iron was being reduced indicates that these compounds can be degraded during the Feammox process by Acidimicrobiaceae sp. A6 (ATCC, PTA-122488). None of these compounds were degraded in incubations to which no ammonium was added, indicating that they were degraded during the oxidation of ammonium. Degradation of TCE and PCE (ranging between 32% and 55%) was observed in incubations with a pure Acidimicrobiaceae sp. A6 culture as well as an Acidimicrobiaceae sp. A6 enrichment culture over a 2-week period. In addition to these batch studies, a column study, with a 5-h hydraulic residence time, was conducted contrasting the degradation of TCE in iron-rich soil columns that were either seeded with a pure or an enrichment culture of Acidimicrobiaceae sp. A6 to achieve ammonium oxidation under iron reduction, and a control column that was initially not seeded and later seeded with Geobacter metallireducens. While there was ∼22% TCE removal in the columns seeded with Acidimicrobiaceae sp. A6, there was no removal in the unseeded column or the column seeded with G. metallireducens which was being operated under iron reducing conditions. Feammox is an anoxic process that requires acidic conditions. Hence, these results indicate that this process might be harnessed where other bioremediation strategies are difficult, since many require neutral or alkaline conditions, and supplying ammonium to an anoxic aquifer is relatively easy, since there are not many processes that will oxidize ammonium in the absence of dissolved oxygen.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- Ammonium oxidation
- Iron reduction