Co-encapsulation of slow release compounds and Rhodococcus rhodochrous ATCC 21198 in gellan gum beads to promote the long-term aerobic cometabolic transformation of 1,1,1-trichloroethane, cis-1,2-dichloroethene and 1,4-dioxane†
Rhodococcus rhodochrous ATCC 21198 (strain ATCC 21198) was successfully co-encapsulated in gellan gum beads with orthosilicates as slow release compounds (SRCs) to support aerobic cometabolism of a mixture of 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA), cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cis-DCE), and 1,4-dioxane (1,4-D) at aqueous concentrations ranging from 250 to 1000 μg L−1. Oxygen (O2) consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) production showed the co-encapsulated cells utilized the alcohols that were released from the co-encapsulated SRCs. Two model SRCs, tetrabutylorthosilicate (TBOS) and tetra-s-butylorthosilicate (T2BOS), which hydrolyze to produce 1- and 2-butanol, respectively, were encapsulated in gellan gum (GG) at mass loadings as high as 10% (w/w), along with strain ATCC 21198. In the GG encapsulated beads, TBOS hydrolyzed 26 times faster than T2BOS and rates were ∼4 times higher in suspension than when encapsulated. In biologically active reactors, the co-encapsulated strain ATCC 21198 effectively utilized the SRC hydrolysis products (1- and 2-butanol) and cometabolized repeated additions of a mixture of 1,1,1-TCA, cis-DCE, and 1,4-D for over 300 days. The transformation followed pseudo-first-order kinetics. Vinyl chloride (VC) and 1,1-dichloroethene (1,1-DCE) were also transformed in the reactors after 250 days. In the long-term treatment, the batch reactors with co-encapsulated T2BOS GG beads achieved similar transformation rates, but at much lower O2 consumption rates than those with TBOS. The results demonstrate that the co-encapsulation technology can be a passive method for the cometabolic treatment of dilute groundwater plumes.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Halogenated (semi)volatile organic compounds (“X(S)VOCs”)