Initiation of [36Cl]hexachlorobenzene dechlorination in three different soils under artificially induced anaerobic conditions

P. Rosenbrock, R. Martens, F. Buscot, J. C. Munch

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The potential for reductive dechlorination of hexachlorobenzene was investigated in samples of three different, naturally oxic soils held under conditions of high oxygen deficiency. The soils were water-saturated and the influence on dechlorination of adding different electron donors, a surfactant and an anaerobic microbial consortium was tested. The influence of supplied electron donors seems to depend on the organic matter content of the soils. Dechlorination in the organic-matter-rich soil from Maulach was not affected by amendment with organic electron donors. A release of about 40% chloride within 140 days was observed for this soil in all biotic-treated assays. By contrast, the organic-matter-poor soil of Eppingen showed no dechlorination in unamended assays. However, when it was supplemented with organic electron donors dechlorination of 2%-37% occurred within 140 days, depending on the type of electron donor. Complex substrate (wheat strawdust), from which carbon is slowly liberated, gave the best results. These two soils had an indigenous dechlorinating anaerobic micro flora, whereas the third soil (Rastatt) required inoculation with an anaerobic consortium for dechlorination. The addition of electron donors alone did not cause dechlorination in this sandy soil. The addition of a surfactant (Tween 80) to increase the bioavailability of hexachlorobenzene did not enhance dechlorination. This process was not inhibited by inherent alternative electron acceptors in soil (NO3-, SO42-, Fe3+). The dechlorination did not require methanogenic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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