Microbial Perchlorate Reduction Driven by Ethane and Propane

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Chun-Yu Lai
  • Mengxiong Wu
  • Xuanyu Lu
  • Yulu Wang
  • Jianhua Guo

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2006-2015
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume55
Issue number3
Online published12 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Previous studies demonstrated that methane can be used as an electron donor to microbially remove various oxidized contaminants in groundwater. Natural gas, which is more widely available and less expensive than purified methane, is potentially an alternative source of methane. However, natural gas commonly contains a considerable amount of ethane (C2H6) and propane (C3H8), in addition to methane. It is important that these gaseous alkanes are also utilized along with methane to avoid emissions. Here, we demonstrate that perchlorate (ClO4), a frequently reported contaminant in groundwater, can be microbially reduced to chloride (Cl) driven by C2H6 or C3H8 under oxygen-limiting conditions. Two independent membrane biofilm reactors (MBfRs) supplied with C2H6 and C3H8, respectively, were operated in parallel to biologically reduce ClO4. The continuous ClO4 removal during long-term MBfR operation combined with the concurrent C2H6/C3H8 consumption and ClO4 reduction in batch tests confirms that ClO4 reduction was associated with C2H6 or C3H8 oxidation. Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) were synthesized in the presence of C2H6 or C3H8 and were subsequently utilized for supporting ClO4 bio-reduction in the absence of gaseous alkanes. Analysis by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) showed that transcript abundance of bmoX (encoding alpha hydroxylase subunit of C2H6/C3Hmonooxygenase) was positively correlated to the consumption rates of C2H6/C3H8, while pcrA (encoding a catalytic subunit of perchlorate reductase) was positively correlated to the consumption of ClO4. High-throughput sequencing targeting 16S rRNA, bmoX, and pcrA indicated that Mycobacterium was the dominant microorganism oxidizing C2H6/ C3H8, while Dechloromonas may be the major perchlorate-reducing bacterium in the biofilms. These findings shed light on microbial ClO4 reduction driven by C2H6 and C3H8, facilitating the development of cost-effective strategies for ex situ groundwater remediation.  © 2021 American Chemical Society.

Citation Format(s)

Microbial Perchlorate Reduction Driven by Ethane and Propane. / Lai, Chun-Yu; Wu, Mengxiong; Lu, Xuanyu et al.
In: Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 55, No. 3, 02.02.2021, p. 2006-2015.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review