Development of starter culture for remediation of chlorinated hydrocarbons, preparation and testing of the scaled-up prototype
Green industrial innovation programme
Project ID: HU09-0046-A2-2013
Web: Project webpage
Project promoter: Fermentia Mikrobiológiai Kft
Project partners: Eötvös Lóránd Tudományegyetem, Természettudományi kar, Mikrobiológiai Tanszék
Donor partners: Dynea AS. Korlátolt Felelősségű Társaság
Volatile short-chain halogenated aliphatic hydrocarbons are one of the most serious environmental pollutants of the 20th century industry. Chlorinated short-chain aliphatic hydrocarbons (trichloroethene, vinyl-chloride, etc.) are among the most common contaminants of groundwaters. These chlorinated solvents can penetrate below the groundwater level in soils thereby endangering drinking water reservoirs. The extremely toxic pollution can spread to the depth in the environment causing contamination which can persist for decades. In-situ biological remediation could be a feasible technique to degrade these by stimulating microbes involved in decomposition processes. Fermentia Ltd., Eötvös L. University Department of Microbiology and Dynea Hungary Ltd. established a consortium in 2013 in order to produce area specific inoculum and technologies used for bioremediation of contaminated areas. The research team isolated microbial consortia from tetrachloroethene and trichloroethene contaminated groundwaters. Laboratory scale adaptation and enrichment of the isolated microbial communities were performed using microcosm experiments. Laboratory scale dechlorinating consortia capable of completed halogenation were scaled-up from 100 ml to 100 litre volume. The microbial community of the developed inocula is capable of complete biodegradation of the chlorinated ethenes to non-toxic ethene and hydrochloric acid. The main purpose of the developed and improved inocula and bioremediation technology is to reduce short-chain halogenated hydrocarbon contamination of soils and groundwater in order to protect soils and drinking water sources of great importance for the environment.