Reductive dechlorination of tetrachloroethene was studied in a mesophilic upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor. Operating the reactor in batch mode the dynamic transformation of tetrachloroethene, trichloroethene and dichloroethene (DCE) was monitored. Tetrachloroethene was reductively dechlorinated to trichloroethene, which again was dechlorinated at the same rate as DCE was produced. DCE showed a lag period of 40 h before transformation was observed. During normal reactor operation trans-1,2-DCE was the major DCE isomer, followed by cis-1,2-DCE. Small amounts of 1,1-DCE but no vinyl chloride were detected. When the influent tetrachloroethene concentration was increased from 4.6 mu M to 27 mu M, the transformation rate increased, indicating that the system was not saturated with tetrachloroethene. The main organic component in the effluent was acetate, indicating that the aceticlastic methane-producing bacteria were inhibited by the chlorinated ethenes.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 1997, Vol 47, Issue 1, p. 91-94