Biodegradation of Subsurface Pollutants by Chlorate- Respiring Microorganisms

Project: Research project

Project Details


9714575 Logan Prior exploratory research on this topic was conducted by the Principal Investigator under NSF Small Grant for Exploratory Research Number 94-14423. The objective of research on this renewal award is to continue determination of the feasibility of using microorganisms capable of using chlorate as an electron acceptor in their metabolic processes for decontamination of soil and aquifers. The investigators plan on studying chlorate-based microbial respiration in contrast with molecular oxygen pathways by use of respiratory inhibitors to dissect the electron transport chain. Soil and aquifer contaminants to be investigated in this research for determination of their biodegradability by chlorate-respiring microorganisms include toluene, p-xylene, ethylbenzene, naphthalene, carbon tetrachloride, chlorophenol, chlorobenzoate, benzene, pentane and phenol. The contemplated decontamination process based on results of the proposed research would involve simultaneous injection of chlorates and chlorate-respiring organisms into the contaminated soil or aquifer. Results of this project are expected to provide the basis for its potential application in engineering design of a system to decontaminate soil and groundwater aquifers by use of sodium chlorate as a source of respiratory oxygen under conditions that prevent or inhibit use of oxygen from atmospheric sources. In contrast to other potential chemical electron acceptors such as nitrates and sulfates, byproducts of which are potential groundwater pollutants, the only byproduct of biochemical chlorate utilization is the chloride ion. ***

Effective start/end date3/15/982/28/02


  • National Science Foundation: $379,414.00


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