Development of starter culture for remediation of chlorinated hydrocarbons, preparation and testing of the scaled-up prototype

Development of starter culture for remediation of chlorinated hydrocarbons, preparation and testing of the scaled-up prototype

Project ID: HU09-0046-A2-2013

Projektgazda/Projekt Promoter

Fermentia Mikrobiológiai Kft/

FermentiaMicrobiological Ltd.

Program Operátor/Programme Operator

Szent István Egyetem Szent István Universtiy

Megvalósítási időszak/Implementationperiod

2014.05.05-2016.10.31. 05.05.2014.-31.10.2016

Hazai Projekt Partnerek/National Project Partner

ELTE TTK Mikrobiológiai Tanszék/ ELTE, Faculty of Science, Department of Microbiology

Donor Projekt /Donor Project Partner

Dynea AS. Kft./ Dynea AS. LLC.

Összköltség / Total budget(EUR)

111 630 724,1 HUF/ 393 898,11 EUR

EGT/Norvég támogatás összege / EEA/Norwegian Grant (EUR)

86 167 165,1 HUF/ 304 047,87 EUR

Project subpage

Halogenated aliphatic hydrocarbons were used as solvent and degreasing agent in industry, agriculture and even in household in the past few decades. Large amount of halogenated hydrocarbons penetrated to soils and groundwater causing contamination and accumulated in the environment due to irregular and uncontrolled treatment and storage. Remediation of the contaminant areas are getting more urgent due to the hazardous components endanger drinking water sources. Concerning social (public health) and environmental protection the remediation of these kind of hydrocarbons are very important, because their acute and chronic toxicity (e.g.: vinyl-chloride is carcinogenic), accumulation in the environment and difficulty to decompose (Puzder et al., 2001). Numerous bioremediation techniques are used for purification of contaminated soils. The selected remediation technique should be appropriate for the pollutant and the local parameters as well. Physical-chemical characteristic of aliphatic chlorinated hydrocarbons (e.g.: greater density than water, high adsorption capacity) makes the ex situ remediation technologies cost intensive. In the past few decades biological remediation was thought to be an arisen possibility to degrade unnatural compounds by microbial enzyme systems. In situ biological remediation could be feasible on site, during the process the environment alteration is negligible, transportation costs are low, and last but not least elimination of the contamination is continuous. In situ enhanced bioremediation technologies (biostimulation) stimulate microbes involved in decomposition process by spreading different substrate to the contaminated area (Anton and Pálos, 2010). To Degrade short-chain halogenated hydrocarbons special dechlorinating consortium is required. Microorganisms involved in dechlorination (e.g.:. Dehalococcoides sp., Desulfitobacterium dehalogenans, Desulfomonile tiedjei, Sulfurospirillum sp., Geobacter lovleyi, Dehalobacter restrictus, etc.) are usually underrepresented or absent from the contaminated area (Löffler and Edwards, 2006; Tas et al., 2009). Consequently the dechlorination of polychlorinated hydrocarbons (tetrachloroethene, - PCE, trichloroethene – TCE) are usualyly slow and partial. In this case, besides the appropriate electron-donors, special inoculums (bioaugmentaion) should be used to enhance dechlorination process. Chlorinated compounds serve as electron-donors and the electron-acceptors are hydrogen or low molecular weight organic compounds for anaerobic, reductive dechlorination process. In order for the successfully completed process, dechlorinating bacteria should over grow other competitor microbes using hydrogen and other simple organic compounds (Kao et al., 2003; Sung at al., 2003). Many inoculums are known, KB-1 (Duhamel et al., 2004), DonnaII (Hug et al., 2012) and ANAS (Holmes et al. 2006) are the commonly used ones. Unfortunately the mentioned inoculums are not effective in every contaminated area for bioaugmentation. Using area specific inoculums for complete degradation of short-chain halogenated hydrocarbons to ethane as a harmless end-product might be the best solution. The aim of our project is to produce inoculums capable of complete dehalogenationprocess and to apply microbes for inocula from the contaminated area. Featured part of our work is to increase the volume of inoculums produced in laboratory conditions and to develop a special fermentation technology. The key microorganisms of anaerobic, reductive dechlorination belong to the genera Dehalococcoides, which are strictly anaerobic and could grow solely in mixed culture. The efficient degrading consortium in laboratory scale would be increased by one-way anaerobic culturing system and by systems suitable for proliferate obligate anaerobic bacterial consortia. In connection with experimental work, technology and a new fermentation method would be developed to maintain, subcultivate and proliferate consortia in operational conditions and to pack prototypes. It’s crucial that manufacturing and packaging of the inoculums must be done in the absence of air (oxygen) in order to the efficient degradation capacity of inoculums on site. Large amounts of biologically active agent could be produced by applying anaerobic fermentation technology, which arise opportunities to perform pilot test to check the actual effectiveness of the inocula in the area belonging to our project partner.