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Electron donor substances and iron oxides stimulate anaerobic dechlorination of DDT in a slurry system with Hydragic Aerisols.

Liu, C.-Y., Cade-Menun, B.J., Xu, X.H., and Fan, J. (2016). "Electron donor substances and iron oxides stimulate anaerobic dechlorination of DDT in a slurry system with Hydragic Aerisols.", Journal of Environmental Quality, 45(1), pp. 331-340. doi : 10.2134/jeq2015.07.0406  Access to full text


The interactive effects between electron donor substances and iron (Fe) oxides have significant influence on electron transfer and the growth of Fe-reducing bacteria, which may affect the reductive dechlorination of 1,1,1-trichoro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane (DDT) in soils. To evaluate the roles of volatile fatty acids and Fe(III) oxide in accelerating the reductive dechlorination of DDT in Hydragric Acrisols, a batch anaerobic incubation experiment was conducted in a slurry system with the following seven treatments: sterile soil, control (DDT-contaminated soil), lactic acid, propionic acid, goethite, lactic acid + goethite, and propionic acid + goethite. Results showed that after 20 d of incubation, DDT residues for these treatments decreased by 34, 65, 77, 81, 77, 90, and 92% of the initial quantities, respectively, with 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-ethane as the dominant metabolite. The application of lactic acid had no significant effect on DDT dechlorination in the first 8 d while the methanogenesis rate increased quickly but accelerated DDT dechlorination after Day 8 while the methanogenesis rate decreased and Fe(II) contents increased. The application of propionic acid enhanced DDT dechlorination rates throughout the incubation. The amendment by goethite stimulated microbial reduction of Fe(III) oxides to generate Fe(II), which was an efficient electron donor, thus accelerating DDT dechlorination significantly in the early incubation period. A synergetic interaction that accelerated DDT dechlorination, either between lactic acid and goethite or between propionic acid and goethite, was obtained. The results will be of great significance to develop efficient in situ remediation technology of DDT-contaminated soil. Core Ideas: • Hydragric Acrisols with iron oxide have a great potential for DDT degradation. • Propionic acid was a proper electron donor substance for DDT dechlorination. • Combined application of VFAs and Fe(III) was efficient for DDT dechlorination.

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