Influence of ferric iron on complete dechlorination of trichloroethylene (TCE) to ethene: Fe(III) reduction does not always inhibit complete dechlorination

Na Wei, Kevin T. Finneran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The effects of Fe(III) reduction on TCE, cis-DCE, and VC dechlorination were studied in both contaminated aquifer material and enrichment cultures. The results from sediment batch experiments demonstrated that Fe(III) reduction did not inhibit complete dechlorination. TCE was reduced concurrently with Fe(III) in the first 40 days of the incubations. While all incubations (plus and minus Fe(III)) generated approximately the same mass of ethene within the experimental time frame, Fe(III) speciation (ferrihydrite versus Fe(III)-NTA) had an impact on daughter product distribution and dechlorination kinetics. 16S rRNA gene clone library sequencing identified Dehalococcoides and Geobacteraceae as dominant populations, which included G. lovleyi like organisms. Quantitative PCR targeting 16S rRNA genes and Reductive Dehalogenase genes (tceA, bvcA, vcrA) indicated that Dehalococcoides and Geobacteraceae were enriched concurrently in the TCE-degrading, Fe(III)-reducing sediments. Enrichment cultures demonstrated that soluble Fe(III) had a greater impact on cis-DCE and VC reduction than solid-phase Fe(III). Geobacteraceae and Dehalococcoides were also coenriched in the liquid cultures, and the Dehalococcoides abundance in the presence of Fe(III) was not significantly different from those in the cultures without Fe(III). Hydrogen reached steady-state concentrations most amenable to complete dechlorination very quickly when Fe(III) was present in the culture, suggesting that Fe(III) reduction may actually help dechlorination. This was contrasted to hydrogen levels in nitrate-amended enrichments, in which hydrogen concentration was too low for any chlororespiration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7422-7430
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume45
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry

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