Introduction of ade novo bioremediation activity into anaerobic granular sludge using the dechlorinating bacterium DCB-2
- Cite this article as:
- Christiansen, N. & Ahring, B.K. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1996) 69: 61. doi:10.1007/BF00641612
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The strictly anaerobic, pentachlorophenol (PCP) degrading bacterium DCB-2 was immobilized in an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) reactor containing sterile granules. PCP and lactate were fed to the reactor and the concentration of chlorophenols in the effluent were monitored for 641 days. PCP was found to be degraded and transformed into 3.4.5-trichlorophenol in the reactor where DCB-2 was introduced into the granular sludge. PCP was still transformed to 3.4.5-trichlorophenol when the hydraulic retention time was decreased to six hours which was much lower than the generation time of DCB-2 insuring no free living cells in the reactor. This indicated that DCB-2 was immobilized in the granular layer. A control reactor that contained only sterile granules did not dechlorinate PCP indicating that the performance in the inoculated reactor was only due to the introduced bacteria. Immobilization of DCB-2 in the granules was further demonstrated by adding an antibody raised against DCB-2 to sliced granules. Bacteria thus visualized formed a net structure inside the granules. No DCB-2 bacteria could be found in granules from the control reactor. When lactate was omitted from the influent, the reactor still dechlorinated PCP in accordance with our findings that lactate was not used by DCB-2. This suggested that the reducing equivalents for reductive dechlorination were derived from the granules themselves. The reactor performance was 120 μmol·l reactor-1·day-1, comparable to the best described performance of a UASB-reactor and to aerobic reactors. Our study demonstrates that granules can be constructed which possess specific abilities such as a dechlorinating activity and at the same time be high performing. This result have implications for eco-engineering of granules for anaerobic treatment of contaminated waters.