Document Type


Date of Award

Summer 8-31-1998

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Piero M. Armenante

Second Advisor

David Kafkewitz

Third Advisor

Gordon Lewandowski


Several substrates, namely fatty acids and alcohols, were used to enhance the reductive microbial dechlorination of PCE to ethene. All of the microcosms amended with the volatile fatty acids (butyrate, succinate, lactate, formate, butyrate/formate mixture and butyrate/succinate mixture) demonstrated complete reductive dechlorination of PCE to ethane. The cultures amended with the butyrate/succinate mixture was the quickest to completely dechlorinate PCE to ethene (49 days). Those amended with butyrate, succinate, formate and the butyrate/formate mixture exhibited complete reductive, dechlorination at 77 days. Microcosms amended with lactate exhibited complete reductive dechlorination at 160 days.

The microcosms amended with the alcohols (ethanol, propanol, propanol/ethanol mixture, ethylene glycol and ethylene glycol/butanol mixture) demonstrated less activity than those amended with the volatile fatty acids. Those amended with propanol demonstrated complete reductive dechlorination of PC[ to ethene. Those amended with ethanol, ethylene glycol, butanol/propanol mixture and propanol/ethanol mixture produced incomplete PCE degradation, resulting in the accumulation of cis-DCE and VC. Those amended with ethylene glycol/butanol mixture showed no activity.