An anaerobic soil enrichment culture could dechlorinate high concentrations of tetrachloroethylene (PCE; 150 mg/liter nominal concentration; approximately 58 mg/liter in aqueous concentration) nearly stoichiometrically to cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (cis-DCE) via trichloroethylene (TCE) at high rates; a maximum dechlorination rate was 0.4 μmol of PCE transformed/mg volatile suspended solids per hr, using citrate as an electron and carbon source and yeast extract as a nutritional requirement. This dechlorinating activity was comparable with those of the previously-reported, efficient bacterial cultures. Some substrates such as pyruvate, succinate, formate, acetate, and acetate with H2 could replace citrate but propionate could not, and yeast extract could be replaced by a vitamin mixture. However the PCE dechlorination rate decreased more than threefold by the addition of the vitamin mixture, suggesting that the vitamin mixture could not be a complete supplement for the nutritional requirement. Optimal pH and temperature of the enrichment for PCE dechlorination were 7 and 30 °C, respectively. Dechlorination of PCE was completely inhibited by the addition of NO3 and NO2 as potential alternative electron acceptors. S2O3−2 and SO3−2 delayed PCE dechlorination but SO4−2 had no significant effect on PCE reduction. 2-bromoethanesulfonic acid (BES, an inhibitor of methanogenesis) also showed no influence on PCE dechlorination, suggesting methanogens were not concerned with PCE removal in this enrichment. Further, microbial investigations on the enrichment showed that it contains four types of bacteria; cocci, large rods, curved rods, and small rods. The small rods seemed to nutritionally support the PCE dechlorinating bacteria, presumably the curved rods.

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