Matching Items (11)

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Selective Enrichment Yields Robust Ethene-Producing Dechlorinating Cultures from Microcosms Stalled at cis-Dichloroethene

Description

Dehalococcoides mccartyi strains are of particular importance for bioremediation due to their unique capability of transforming perchloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) to non-toxic ethene, through the intermediates cis-dichloroethene (cis-DCE) and

Dehalococcoides mccartyi strains are of particular importance for bioremediation due to their unique capability of transforming perchloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) to non-toxic ethene, through the intermediates cis-dichloroethene (cis-DCE) and vinyl chloride (VC). Despite the widespread environmental distribution of Dehalococcoides, biostimulation sometimes fails to promote dechlorination beyond cis-DCE. In our study, microcosms established with garden soil and mangrove sediment also stalled at cis-DCE, albeit Dehalococcoides mccartyi containing the reductive dehalogenase genes tceA, vcrA and bvcA were detected in the soil/sediment inocula. Reductive dechlorination was not promoted beyond cis-DCE, even after multiple biostimulation events with fermentable substrates and a lengthy incubation. However, transfers from microcosms stalled at cis-DCE yielded dechlorination to ethene with subsequent enrichment cultures containing up to 10[superscript 9] Dehalococcoides mccartyi cells mL[superscript −1]. Proteobacterial classes which dominated the soil/sediment communities became undetectable in the enrichments, and methanogenic activity drastically decreased after the transfers. We hypothesized that biostimulation of Dehalococcoides in the cis-DCE-stalled microcosms was impeded by other microbes present at higher abundances than Dehalococcoides and utilizing terminal electron acceptors from the soil/sediment, hence, outcompeting Dehalococcoides for H[subscript 2]. In support of this hypothesis, we show that garden soil and mangrove sediment microcosms bioaugmented with their respective cultures containing Dehalococcoides in high abundance were able to compete for H[subscript 2] for reductive dechlorination from one biostimulation event and produced ethene with no obvious stall. Overall, our results provide an alternate explanation to consolidate conflicting observations on the ubiquity of Dehalococcoides mccartyi and occasional stalling of dechlorination at cis-DCE; thus, bringing a new perspective to better assess biological potential of different environments and to understand microbial interactions governing bioremediation.

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Date Created
  • 2014-06-20

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Impact of Ammonium on Syntrophic Organohalide-Respiring and Fermenting Microbial Communities

Description

Syntrophic interactions between organohalide-respiring and fermentative microorganisms are critical for effective bioremediation of halogenated compounds. This work investigated the effect of ammonium concentration (up to 4 g liter[superscript −1] NH4+-N)

Syntrophic interactions between organohalide-respiring and fermentative microorganisms are critical for effective bioremediation of halogenated compounds. This work investigated the effect of ammonium concentration (up to 4 g liter[superscript −1] NH4+-N) on trichloroethene-reducing Dehalococcoides mccartyi and Geobacteraceae in microbial communities fed lactate and methanol. We found that production of ethene by D. mccartyi occurred in mineral medium containing ≤2 g liter[superscript −1] NH4+-N and in landfill leachate. For the partial reduction of trichloroethene (TCE) to cis-dichloroethene (cis-DCE) at ≥1 g liter[superscript −1] NH4+-N, organohalide-respiring dynamics shifted from D. mccartyi and Geobacteraceae to mainly D. mccartyi. An increasing concentration of ammonium was coupled to lower metabolic rates, longer lag times, and lower gene abundances for all microbial processes studied. The methanol fermentation pathway to acetate and H[subscript 2] was conserved, regardless of the ammonium concentration provided. However, lactate fermentation shifted from propionic to acetogenic at concentrations of ≥2 g liter[superscript −1] NH4+-N. Our study findings strongly support a tolerance of D. mccartyi to high ammonium concentrations, highlighting the feasibility of organohalide respiration in ammonium-contaminated subsurface environments.

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Date Created
  • 2016-04-20

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Quantifying Biological Hydrogen Demand of Sediments

Description

Hydrogen is a key indicator of microbial activity in soils/sediments and groundwater because of its role as an electron donor for reducing sulfate and nitrate and carrying out other metabolic

Hydrogen is a key indicator of microbial activity in soils/sediments and groundwater because of its role as an electron donor for reducing sulfate and nitrate and carrying out other metabolic processes. The goal of this study was to quantitatively measure the total biological hydrogen demand (TBHD) of soils and sediments in anaerobic environments. We define the total biological hydrogen demand as the sum of all electron acceptors that can be used by hydrogen-oxidizing microorganisms. Three sets of anaerobic microcosms were set up with different soils/sediments, named Carolina, Garden, and ASM. The microcosms included 25g of soil/sediment and 75 mL of anaerobic medium. 10 mL of hydrogen were pulse-fed for 100 days. Hydrogen consumption and methane production were tracked using gas chromatography. Chemical analysis of each soil was performed at the beginning of the experiment to determine the concentration of electron acceptors in the soils/sediments, including nitrate, sulfate, iron and bicarbonate. An analysis of the microbial community was done at t = 0 and at the end of the 100 days to examine changes in the microbial community due to the metabolic processes occurring as hydrogen was consumed. Carolina consumed 9810 43 mol of hydrogen and produced 19,572 2075 mol of methane. Garden consumed 4006 33 mol of hydrogen and produced 7,239 543 mol of methane. Lastly, ASM consumed 1557 84 mol of hydrogen and produced 1,325 715 mol of methane. I conclude that the concentration of bicarbonate initially present in the soil had the most influence over the hydrogen demand and microbial community enrichment. To improve this research, I recommend that future studies include a chemical analysis of final soil geochemistry conditions, as this will provide with a better idea of what pathway the hydrogen is taking in each soil.

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Date Created
  • 2017-05

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The Effect of ZVI on Creating and Maintaining a Reductive Environment Conducive to the Dechlorination of TCE and Its Less-chlorinated Byproducts at a Contaminated Site

Description

The effect of an anaerobic reductive environment produced by the oxidation of zero valent iron (ZVI) on the microbial reductive dechlorination of trichloroethylene and its applicability to in-situ bioremediation processes

The effect of an anaerobic reductive environment produced by the oxidation of zero valent iron (ZVI) on the microbial reductive dechlorination of trichloroethylene and its applicability to in-situ bioremediation processes was investigated using microcosms and soil column studies. I learned that microbial dechlorination requires a highly reductive environment, as represented by negative values for oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), which can be maintained through the addition of reducing agents such as ZVI, or to a lesser extent, the fermentation of added substrates such as lactate. Microcosm conditions represented distance from an in-situ treatment injection well and contained different types of iron species and dechlorinating bioaugmentation cultures. Diminishing efficacy of microbial reductive dechlorination along a gradient away from the injection zone was observed, characterized by increasing ORP and decreasing pH. Results also suggested that the use of particular biostimulation substrates is key to prioritizing the dechlorination reaction against competing microbial and abiotic processes by supplying electrons needed for microbial dechlorination.

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Date Created
  • 2017-12

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Archaea and Bacteria Acclimate to High Total Ammonia in a Methanogenic Reactor Treating Swine Waste

Description

Inhibition by ammonium at concentrations above 1000 mgN/L is known to harm the methanogenesis phase of anaerobic digestion. We anaerobically digested swine waste and achieved steady state COD-removal efficiency of around

Inhibition by ammonium at concentrations above 1000 mgN/L is known to harm the methanogenesis phase of anaerobic digestion. We anaerobically digested swine waste and achieved steady state COD-removal efficiency of around 52% with no fatty-acid or H[subscript 2] accumulation. As the anaerobic microbial community adapted to the gradual increase of total ammonia-N (NH[subscript 3]-N) from 890 ± 295 to 2040 ± 30 mg/L, the Bacterial and Archaeal communities became less diverse. Phylotypes most closely related to hydrogenotrophic Methanoculleus (36.4%) and Methanobrevibacter (11.6%), along with acetoclastic Methanosaeta (29.3%), became the most abundant Archaeal sequences during acclimation. This was accompanied by a sharp increase in the relative abundances of phylotypes most closely related to acetogens and fatty-acid producers (Clostridium, Coprococcus, and Sphaerochaeta) and syntrophic fatty-acid Bacteria (Syntrophomonas, Clostridium, Clostridiaceae species, and Cloacamonaceae species) that have metabolic capabilities for butyrate and propionate fermentation, as well as for reverse acetogenesis. Our results provide evidence countering a prevailing theory that acetoclastic methanogens are selectively inhibited when the total ammonia-N concentration is greater than ~1000 mgN/L. Instead, acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic methanogens coexisted in the presence of total ammonia-N of ~2000 mgN/L by establishing syntrophic relationships with fatty-acid fermenters, as well as homoacetogens able to carry out forward and reverse acetogenesis.

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Date Created
  • 2016-08-11

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Evaluating the feasibility of molasses as an electron donor for enhanced bioremediation of chlorinated solvents

Description

Lactate and methanol have been the most commonly used electron donors in the Krajmalnik-Brown laboratory for efficient microbial dechlorination of trichloroethene (TCE). Our goal was to assess the technical and

Lactate and methanol have been the most commonly used electron donors in the Krajmalnik-Brown laboratory for efficient microbial dechlorination of trichloroethene (TCE). Our goal was to assess the technical and economic feasibility of molasses and ethanol, two alternative electron donors by evaluating their costs and ability support complete TCE dechlorination to ethene. First, ethanol and molasses, with and without methanol, were evaluated for their abilities to support complete dechlorination in batch serum bottles. Molasses, the cheapest alternative, supported a similar dechlorination performance to lactate in batch experiments, so we then used it in an upflow anaerobic bioreactor (UABR) to test its ability to support rapid dechlorination in this continuous system. Molasses supported 88% TCE conversion to ethene at a hydraulic retention time (HRT) of 13 hours after 80 days of operation in continuous mode. Compared to the UABR operated previously using lactate and methanol, molasses led to a reduction of TCE conversion to ethene, and a possible increase in time required to produce culture. Additionally, when molasses was used as the electron donor, we encountered new difficulties in the operation of the UABR, such as drastic pH changes. Therefore, I conclude that the savings from using molasses is outweighed by the costs associated with the reduction in dechlorination performance and increase in reactor maintenance. I recommend that lactate and methanol continue to be used as the electron donors in the Krajmalnik- Brown dechlorination lab to support fast-rate and cost-effective production of dechlorinating culture in an UABR. Because molasses supported fast rates of dechlorination in the batch experiment, however, it is potentially a better option than lactate and methanol for batch production of culture or for biostimulation, where the aquifer resembles a batch system. I recommend that further studies be done to reach a general conclusion about the feasibility of molasses as an electron donor for other enhanced bioremediation projects.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-12

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The effects of CO2 and H2 on CO metabolism by pure and mixed microbial cultures

Description

Background
Syngas fermentation, the bioconversion of CO, CO[subscript 2], and H[subscript 2] to biofuels and chemicals, has undergone considerable optimization for industrial applications. Even more, full-scale plants for ethanol production

Background
Syngas fermentation, the bioconversion of CO, CO[subscript 2], and H[subscript 2] to biofuels and chemicals, has undergone considerable optimization for industrial applications. Even more, full-scale plants for ethanol production from syngas fermentation by pure cultures are being built worldwide. The composition of syngas depends on the feedstock gasified and the gasification conditions. However, it remains unclear how different syngas mixtures affect the metabolism of carboxidotrophs, including the ethanol/acetate ratios. In addition, the potential application of mixed cultures in syngas fermentation and their advantages over pure cultures have not been deeply explored. In this work, the effects of CO[subscript 2] and H[subscript 2] on the CO metabolism by pure and mixed cultures were studied and compared. For this, a CO-enriched mixed culture and two isolated carboxidotrophs were grown with different combinations of syngas components (CO, CO:H[subscript 2], CO:CO[subscript 2], or CO:CO[subscript 2]:H[subscript 2]).
Results
The CO metabolism of the mixed culture was somehow affected by the addition of CO[subscript 2] and/or H[subscript 2], but the pure cultures were more sensitive to changes in gas composition than the mixed culture. CO[subscript 2] inhibited CO oxidation by the Pleomorphomonas-like isolate and decreased the ethanol/acetate ratio by the Acetobacterium-like isolate. H[subscript 2] did not inhibit ethanol or H[subscript 2] production by the Acetobacterium and Pleomorphomonas isolates, respectively, but decreased their CO consumption rates. As part of the mixed culture, these isolates, together with other microorganisms, consumed H[subscript 2] and CO[subscript 2] (along with CO) for all conditions tested and at similar CO consumption rates (2.6 ± 0.6 mmol CO L[superscript −1] day[superscript −1]), while maintaining overall function (acetate production). Providing a continuous supply of CO by membrane diffusion caused the mixed culture to switch from acetate to ethanol production, presumably due to the increased supply of electron donor. In parallel with this change in metabolic function, the structure of the microbial community became dominated by Geosporobacter phylotypes, instead of Acetobacterium and Pleomorphomonas phylotypes.
Conclusions
These results provide evidence for the potential of mixed-culture syngas fermentation, since the CO-enriched mixed culture showed high functional redundancy, was resilient to changes in syngas composition, and was capable of producing acetate or ethanol as main products of CO metabolism.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-09-16

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Role of bicarbonate as a pH buffer and electron sink in microbial dechlorination of chloroethenes

Description

Background
Buffering to achieve pH control is crucial for successful trichloroethene (TCE) anaerobic bioremediation. Bicarbonate (HCO3−) is the natural buffer in groundwater and the buffer of choice in the laboratory

Background
Buffering to achieve pH control is crucial for successful trichloroethene (TCE) anaerobic bioremediation. Bicarbonate (HCO3−) is the natural buffer in groundwater and the buffer of choice in the laboratory and at contaminated sites undergoing biological treatment with organohalide respiring microorganisms. However, HCO3− also serves as the electron acceptor for hydrogenotrophic methanogens and hydrogenotrophic homoacetogens, two microbial groups competing with organohalide respirers for hydrogen (H2). We studied the effect of HCO3− as a buffering agent and the effect of HCO3−-consuming reactions in a range of concentrations (2.5-30 mM) with an initial pH of 7.5 in H2-fed TCE reductively dechlorinating communities containing Dehalococcoides, hydrogenotrophic methanogens, and hydrogenotrophic homoacetogens.
Results
Rate differences in TCE dechlorination were observed as a result of added varying HCO3− concentrations due to H2-fed electrons channeled towards methanogenesis and homoacetogenesis and pH increases (up to 8.7) from biological HCO3− consumption. Significantly faster dechlorination rates were noted at all HCO3− concentrations tested when the pH buffering was improved by providing 4-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperazineethanesulfonic acid (HEPES) as an additional buffer. Electron balances and quantitative PCR revealed that methanogenesis was the main electron sink when the initial HCO3− concentrations were 2.5 and 5 mM, while homoacetogenesis was the dominant process and sink when 10 and 30 mM HCO3− were provided initially.
Conclusions
Our study reveals that HCO3− is an important variable for bioremediation of chloroethenes as it has a prominent role as an electron acceptor for methanogenesis and homoacetogenesis. It also illustrates the changes in rates and extent of reductive dechlorination resulting from the combined effect of electron donor competition stimulated by HCO3− and the changes in pH exerted by methanogens and homoacetogens.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012-09-13

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Surface Activation of Rubber to Enhance the Durability and Chemo-Mechanics of Asphalt

Description

It is common to use crumb rubber as modifier in bitumen. Good performance of crumb rubber in bitumen has been reported in terms of improving characteristics like higher skid resistance,

It is common to use crumb rubber as modifier in bitumen. Good performance of crumb rubber in bitumen has been reported in terms of improving characteristics like higher skid resistance, reducing noise, higher rutting resistance and longevity. However, due to the vulcanization, the polymeric crosslinked structure of crumb rubber suffers from inadequate dispersion and incompatibility in bitumen where storage stability becomes an issue. To solve this problem, partial surface devulcanization of the rubber via chemical and microbial surface activation was examined in this study showing both method can be effective to enhance rubber-bitumen interactions and subsequently storage stability of the rubberized bitumen. To ensure proper surface activation, it is important to thoroughly understand chemo-mechanics of bitumen containing rubber particles as well as underlying interaction mechanism at the molecular level. Therefore, this study integrates a multi-scale approach using density functional theory based computational modeling and laboratory experiments to provide an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms of interaction between surface activated rubber and bitumen. To do so, efficacy of various bio-modifiers was examined and compared it terms of both surface activation capability and durability of resulting rubberized bitumen. It was found that biomodifiers with various compositions can have either synergistic or antagonistic effect onchemo-mechanics of rubberized bitumen. The study was further extended to study the interplay of Polyphosphoric Acid (PPA) and these biomodified rubberized bitumens showing not all modifiers have high synergy with PPA in bitumens. Finally, durability of rubberized bitumen was studied in terms of its resistance to Ultraviolet (UV) aging. It was shown that there is a strong relation between composition of biomodified rubberized bitumen and its resistance to UV-aging.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Treating energetics-contaminated wastewater

Description

This study reports on the treatment of ammunition wastewater containing RDX (1,3,5-Trinitro-1,3,5-triazinane), HMX (1,3,5,7-Tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazoctane), and the oxyanion co-contaminants nitrate (NO3-) and perchlorate (ClO4-) in a membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR), a

This study reports on the treatment of ammunition wastewater containing RDX (1,3,5-Trinitro-1,3,5-triazinane), HMX (1,3,5,7-Tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazoctane), and the oxyanion co-contaminants nitrate (NO3-) and perchlorate (ClO4-) in a membrane biofilm reactor (MBfR), a Palladium (Pd)-coated MBfR (Pd-MBfR), and an abiotic Pd-coated film reactor (Pd-film reactor). A consortium of nitrate- and perchlorate-reducing bacteria, continuously fed with synesthetic ammunition wastewater featuring 4 mM nitrate and 0.1-2 mM perchlorate, formed robust biofilms on the membrane surfaces in the MBfR and Pd-MBfR. PdNPs with diameter 4-5-nm auto-assembled and stabilized on the surfaces of membrane and biofilm in MPfR and Pd-MBfR. Nitrate and perchlorate were rapidly reduced by the biofilms in the MBfR and Pd-MBfR, but they were not catalytically reduced through PdNPs alone in the MPfR. In contrast, RDX or HMX was recalcitrant to enzymatic degradation in MBfR, but was rapidly reduced through Pd-catalytic denitration in the MPfR and Pd-MBfR to form ‒N‒NHOH or ‒N‒H. Based on the experimental results, the synergistic coupling of Pd-based catalysis and microbial activity in the Pd-MBfR should be a viable new technology for treating ammunition wastewater.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019