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Project ID: 2004NJ68B

Title: The investigation of bacterially-mediated dechlorination of dioxins by dehalorespiring bacterial cultures and in dioxin-contaminated sediments from the Passaic River, New Jersey

Project Type: Research

Focus Categories: Toxic Substances, Sediments, Treatment

Keywords: sediment, dioixin, DLC, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins , polychlorinated dibenzofurans , PCDF, Passaic River, bioremediation, dechlorination, PCR, polymerase chain reaction, Dehalococcoides ethenogenes, DGGE, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, t

Start Date: 03/01/2004

End Date: 03/01/2005

Federal Funds: $5,000

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $10,799

Congressional District: 6th

Principal Investigators:
Fang Liu

Donna E. Fennell


Dioxins and dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) are a group of planar chemicals some of which are very toxic to human beings and other organisms, and include 2,3,7,8-substituted polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and certain co-planar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Dioxin contamination is especially a severe environmental problem in New Jersey, with the Passaic River on EPA’s list of contaminated watersheds because of its dioxin contamination particularly related to a Superfund site.

In situ bioremediation has unique strong points compared with other remedies, in preventing the secondary contamination that may occur during the sediment dredging and disposal process, as well as being a more economical and “quieter” strategy in terms of energy cost and public concerns.

Indigenous bacteria from Passaic River contaminated sediments have adapted to the dioxin-laden environment so they have the ability to dechlorinate dioxins. Bioaugmentation with Dehalococcoides ethenogenes strain 195 will enhance the dechlorination rate.

This research will conduct experiments to test kinetic parameters of Dehalococcoides ethenogenes strain 195, its consortia and other isolated dechlorinating cultures using environmentally relevant DLC congeners and use acquired data to modify the kinetic model to simulate the process. It will combine different molecular tools to examine microbial community changes with respect to time and various amendments and identify the phylogenetic position of indigenous bacteria from contaminated sites and compare them with the known species to form a more comprehensive picture of the nature of biological dechlorination.

This study will provide basic information of the ability and efficiency of dechlorination carried by bacteria in Passaic River sediments and data obtained here will be used to build the kinetic model for long term, environmental simulations.

Progress/Completion Report PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Wednesday July 13, 2005 4:08 PM
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