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Biological-based Treatment of Chlorinated Organic Pollutants

Technology Overview

Chlorinated hydrocarbons are a class of toxic chemicals found frequently in the industrial wastewater, soils and groundwater. Non-invasive bioremediation approaches are rapidly becoming the method of choice over conventional physical and/or chemical remediation processes. In sites contaminated by chlorinated organic pollutants, such as chlorinated ethenes, reductive dechlorination by bacterial isolates in-situ is often unstable and highly susceptible to inhibitory effects from co-contaminating non-substrate halogenated compounds. Use of undefined mixed cultures to cope with indigenous microbial communities rarely works efficiently.

This technology relates to a defined microbial consortium capable of complete dehalogenation of polychlorinated ethenes to non-toxic ethene as well as dehalogenating the common soil and groundwater co- contaminants. The construction of a unique microbial consortium represents a significant advance to existing approaches by providing robust degradation capabilities of a well characterized microbial community as well as the ability to tailor the populations within the indigenous microbial community for specific biotransformation or detoxification goals.

This technology is suitable for bioremediation companies for application on polluted sites.

Technology Features & Specifications

The microbial consortium can make use of lactate or pyruvate as sources of carbon for growth, be established in microaerobic, anaerobic or anoxic environments and can be established without specific amendment of electron donors (e.g. hydrogen). It can utilize a broad range of chlorinated hydrocarbons for metabolic dehalogenation, including: tetrachloroethene, trichloroethene, dichlorethene isomers, vinylchloride, 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, 1,1,2-trichloroethene and chloroform. The microbial consortium can be cultured in the presence of one or more halogenated compound to a maximum nominal concentration of 500µM.

The bacterial consortium used in this technology exhibits increased metabolic flexibility and vigor compared to individual organohalide respiring populations and is capable of maintaining complete dechlorination of tetrachloroethene and trichloroethene in the presence of environmentally relevant concentrations of the inhibitors chloroform and 1,1,1-trichloroethane.

One or more of the strains in the microbial consortium are proprietary strains isolated and adapted by the inventors exclusively for this invention.

Potential Applications

This technology is suitable for bioremediation that deal with the treatment of industrial wastewater, soils and groundwater. The technology can be used for the bioremediation of chlorinated organic pollutants such as chlorinated ethenes, polychlorinated ethenes, trichloroethane, 1,1,1 - trichloroethane and chloroform. Additionally, the microbes utilized in this technology can be adapted to degrade other types of pollutants.

Market Trends and Opportunities

The global market for bioremediation technology & services market is valued at USD 40 billion in 2018 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 8% from 2018 to 2025. The rise in awareness program and industrialization has been driving the bioremediation technology & services. Increasing government initiatives for river conservation through bioremediation and involvement of public–private partnerships for bioremediation-related activities would also drive the growth of the bioremediation technology & services.

Customer Benefits

  • Ease of implementation – The technology works in microaerobic, anaerobic or anoxic environments without specific amendment of electron donors (e.g. hydrogen)
  • Easy to cultivate – The technology has the ability to utilize a variety of carbon sources, electron donors and electron acceptors.
  • Limits environment risks – It provides the complete information of the strains used in the microbial consortium which lowers the environmental risks.

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