Cometabolic Bioremediation

  • T. C. Hazen


Cometabolic bioremediation is probably the most under appreciated bioremediation strategy currently available. Cometabolism strategies stimulate only indigenous microbes with the ability to degrade the contaminant and cosubstrate, e.g., methane, propane, toluene, and others. This highly targeted stimulation insures that only those microbes that can degrade the contaminant are targeted, thus reducing amendment costs, well and formation plugging, etc. Cometabolic bioremediation has been used on some of the most recalcitrant contaminants, e.g., PCE, TCE, MTBE, TNT, dioxane, and atrazine. Methanotrophs have been demonstrated to produce methane monooxygenase, an oxidase that can degrade over 300 compounds. Cometabolic bioremediation also has the advantage of being able to degrade contaminants to trace concentrations, since the biodegrader is not dependent on the contaminant for carbon or energy. Increasingly we are finding that in order to protect human health and the environment that we must remediate to lower and lower concentrations, especially for compounds like endocrine disrupters, thus cometabolism may be the best and maybe the only possibility that we have to bioremediate some contaminants.


Glyoxylic Acid Methane Monooxygenase Nitrosomonas Europaea Toluene Dioxygenase Alkene Monooxygenase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. C. Hazen
    • 1
  1. 1.Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryCAUSA

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