Aerobic metabolic degradation represents a new and promising concept to remove chloroethenes from the subsurface environment. Aerobic chloroethene biodegradation can occur under natural conditions or after addition of oxygen in engineered approaches on-site.

Background and benefits

The aerobic degradation without the need for auxiliary substrates has a high potential for practical application. However, the bacteria have to be identified yet and seem not to be present at many polluted sites. Therefore, bioaugmentation in combination with biochar injection and enhanced electrokinetic distribution represents a highly innovative and promising approach is being developed in EiCLaR.

Sequential anaerobic/aerobic degradation is emphasized at sites where incomplete reductive dechlorination results in the formation of cis-dichlorethene (cDCE) or vinyl chloride (VC). Also cDCE and VC are degradable by metabolic aerobic bacteria thus increasing the market potential for bioaugmentation approaches.

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