The ability of eight mixed cultures of methane-oxidizing bacteria to degrade trichloroethylene (TCE) was examined in laboratory batch experiments. This is one of the first reported works studying TCE degradation by mixed cultures of methane-oxidizing bacteria at 10°C, a common temperature for soils and groundwaters. Only three of the eight mixed cultures were able to degrade TCE, or to degrade TCE fast enough to result in a significant removal of TCE within the experimental time, when the cultures used methane as growth substrate. The same three mixed cultures were able to degrade TCE when they oxidized methanol, but only for a limited time period of about 5 days. Several explanations for the discontinued degradation of TCE are given. An experiment carried out to re-activate the methane-oxidizing bacteria after 8 days of growth on methanol by adding methane did not immediately result in degradation of methane and TCE. During the first 10–15 days after the addition of methane a significant degradation of methane and a minor degradation of TCE were observed. This experiment revealed that the ability of mixed cultures of methane-oxidizing bacteria to degrade TCE varied significantly even though the cultures were grown under the same conditions.
|Publication status||Published - 1993|