State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2008NJ157B
Title: PBDEs and Other Brominated Compounds in a Bioreactor Landfill
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2008
End Date: 2/28/2009
Congressional District: 6
Focus Categories: Wastewater, Groundwater, Water Quality
Principal Investigators: Loudon, Jennifer (Rutgers University); Fennell, Donna E.
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 12,503
Abstract: Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been considered the next PCBs by many in the environmental field. These compounds have been used over the past 30 years as added flame retardants in furniture and carpeting, electronic equipment, vehicles, and building materials/polyurethane foam. These compounds sorb tightly to sediments, and may pass through wastewater treatment facilities. In bioreactor landfills, the generation of humic substances may increase the leachability of PDBEs. To date, the literature is severely lacking in studies looking at natural (biological or abiotic) debromination of organic compounds within a complex system such as a landfill. We hypothesize that dehalogenators may be present within a bioreactor landfill in Burlington county (BCRRA facility), and are capable of debrominating organic compounds (incl PBDE) in situ to lighten the loading into the wastewater treatment plant. Finally, we hypothesize that gross morphological analysis coupled with molecular toxicological tools can be an effective means of monitoring the natural debromination processes within the landfill system at BCRRC. Our goals are: Qualitatively determine the diversity of microbes in the BCRRC landfill leachate and solids. Identify dehalogenators present. Through microcosms using landfill waste, stimulate debromination of various brominated organic compounds probably found in a landfill, going from very simple brominated hydrocarbons to the very complex (PBDE's). Obtain morphological and molecular toxicological information from the microcosms using Danio rerio (zebrafish) as a model organism.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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