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Effect of Fe(III) on 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane degradation and vinyl chloride accumulation in wetland sediments of the Aberdeen Proving Ground

January 1, 2004

1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane (TeCA) contaminated groundwater at the Aberdeen Proving Ground discharges through an anaerobic wetland in West Branch Canal Creek (MD), where dechlorination occurs. Two microbially mediated pathways, dichloroelimination and hydrogenolysis, account for most of the TeCA degradation at this site. The dichloroelimination pathways lead to the formation of vinyl chloride (VC), a recalcitrant carcinogen of great concern. The goal of this investigation was to determine whether microbially-available Fe(III) in the wetland surface sediment influenced the fate of TeCA and its daughter products. Differences were identified in the TeCA degradation pathway between microcosms treated with amorphous ferric oxyhydroxide (AFO-treated) and untreated (no AFO) microcosms. TeCA degradation was accompanied by a lower accumulation of VC in AFO-treated microcosms than untreated microcosms. The microcosm incubations and subsequent experiments with the microcosm materials showed that AFO treatment resulted in lower production of VC by (1) shifting TeCA degradation from dichloroelimination pathways to production of a greater proportion of chlorinated ethane products, and (2) decreasing the microbial capability to produce VC from 1,2-dichloroethene (DCE). VC degradation was not stimulated in the presence of Fe(III). Rather, VC degradation occurred readily under methanogenic conditions and was inhibited under Fe(III)-reducing conditions.

Publication Year 2004
Title Effect of Fe(III) on 1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane degradation and vinyl chloride accumulation in wetland sediments of the Aberdeen Proving Ground
DOI 10.1080/10889860490453159
Authors Elizabeth Jones, Mary Voytek, Michelle Lorah
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Bioremediation Journal
Index ID 70184509
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Toxic Substances Hydrology Program