Startup and performance of a gas-permeable-membrane-supported (GPMS) biofilm system using a mixed culture of methylotrophs to degrade methylene chloride, chloroform, and carbon tetrachloride Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/1v53k1277

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  • The methane monooxygenase (MMO) enzyme, used by methylotrophs to oxidize methane, has been shown to possess quite broad substrate specificity, being able to oxidize many organic compounds including n-alkanes, n-alkenes, ethers, and aromatic, alicyclic, and heterocyclic compounds. In this research, it was sought to determine whether a gas-permeable-membrane-supported (GPMS) biofilm containing methylotrophic bacteria could be established and, if so, whether the methylotrophic GPMS biofilm system could be effective in degrading some recalcitrant organic compounds often found in contaminated groundwaters and industrial wastewaters. The biofilm was grown on a gas-permeable membrane placed in a reactor vessel so as to divide the reactor into a liquid compartment and a gas compartment. Methane and oxygen were diffused from the gas compartment, through the membrane, to the methylotrophic bacteria growing on the liquid side of the membrane. Measurements of utilization and production of various gases showed the performance of the methylotrophic GPMS biofilm to be similar to that previously observed by researchers working with methylotrophs in other types of systems. After the GPMS biofilm had reached a near-steady- state condition, a mixture of chlorinated methanes (methylene chloride, chloroform, and carbon tetrachloride) was added to the reactor liquid. Degradation and volatile losses of the compounds were monitored by gas chromatography and the methylotrophic GPMS biofilm was shown to be effective in degrading methylene chloride and chloroform. The data also suggested that the biofilm was able to supplement its electron acceptor requirements by denitrification when sufficient oxygen was not available. Enzyme kinetic constants were determined for the degradation of methylene chloride by the methylotrophic GPMS biofilm system.
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