Kinetics and inhibition of reductive dechlorination of trichloroethene, cis-1,2-dichloroethene and vinyl chloride in a continuously fed anaerobic biofilm reactor.
Anaerobic bioreactors containing Dehalococcoides spp. can be effective for the treatment of trichloroethene (TCE) contamination. However, reductive dehalogenation of TCE often results in partial conversion to harmless ethene, and significant production of undesired cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cis-DCE) and vinyl chloride (VC) is frequently observed. Here, a detailed modeling study was conducted focusing on the determination of biokinetic constants for the dechlorination of TCE and its reductive dechlorination intermediates cis-DCE and VC as well as any biokinetic inhibition that may exist between these compounds. Dechlorination data from an anaerobic biotrickling filter containing Dehalococcoides spp. fed with single compounds (TCE, cis-DCE, or VC) were fitted to the model to determine biokinetic constants. Experiments with multiple compounds were used to determine inhibition between the compounds. It was found that the Michaelis-Menten half-saturation constants for all compounds were higher than for cells grown in suspended cultures, indicating a lower enzyme affinity in biofilm cells. It was also observed that TCE competitively inhibited the dechlorination of cis-DCE and had a mild detrimental effect on the dechlorination of VC. Thus, careful selection of biotreatment conditions, possibly with the help of a model such as the one presented herein, is required to minimize the production of partially dechlorinated intermediates.
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