Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.341, 328-335, 2018
A comparative evaluation of anaerobic dechlorination of PCB-118 and Aroclor 1254 in sediment microcosms from three PCB-impacted environments
Aroclor 1254 (A1254) is the most toxic commercial PCB mixture produced, primarily due to its relatively high concentrations of dioxin-like congeners. This study demonstrates a comparative evaluation of dechlorination of A1254 and PCB-118 by indigenous organohalide respiring bacteria enriched from three PCB impacted sites: Grasse River (GR), NY; Fox River (FR), WI; and Baltimore Harbor (BH), MD. PCB 118 dechlorination rates in GR, BH, and FR was 0.0308, 0.015, and 0.0006 Cl-/biphenyl/day, respectively. A1254 dechlorination rates in GR, FR, and BH were 0.0153, 0.0144, and 0.0048 CI-/biphenyl/day, respectively. A1254 dechlorination was achieved through the removal of doubly-/singly-flanked chlorines in meta and para positions of mostly penta-followed by hexa- and hepta-chlorinated congeners by 88%, 69%, and 51% in GR, and 88%, 87%, and 83% in FR, respectively, while in BH mostly hepta- (70%) followed by hexa-chlorinated congeners (66%) were dechlorinated. A previously developed Anaerobic Dechlorination Model (ADM) quantified a total of 17 toxicity-related dechlorination pathways in all three sediment microcosms. The toxic equivalency of A1254 based on seven dioxin-like congeners decreased by about 53%, 45% and 21%, in GR, FR and BH microcosms, respectively. The dechlorination products were generally tetra- and tri-chlorinated congeners with unflanked chlorines, all of which is susceptible to further degradation by aerobic bacteria. Concerning the toxic congeners, ADM can be useful to initiate further research focusing on the stimulation of the toxicity reducing pathways for risk assessment and effective remediation strategies. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.