Bioremediation Consulting, Incorporated

BCI Seeking Partners for Projects to Degrade PCB's in the Field

July 17, 2012; Watertown, MA USA --


BCI Seeking Partners for Projects to Degrade PCB's in the Field


The BCI culture could be used for inoculation and treatment of PCB-contaminated groundwater and soil and for sediments that have been dredged from rivers (such as the Hudson River and Fox River). BCI already has the ability to grow this culture in the laboratory in volumes sufficient to add to pilot treatment demonstrations. The inoculation process, termed bioaugmentation, is used widely to treat soils and groundwater contaminated with chlorinated solvents such as TCE. BCI has grown hundreds of liters of Dehalococcoides culture for treatment of soils contaminated with TCE.

 Sequential Anaerobic-to-Aerobic Treatment Proposed. By reducing the number of chlorine atoms per PCB molecule, BCI's culture opens the way for complete removal of chlorines by a sequential treatment process first using BCIs anaerobic bacteria, and sequentially applying aerobic bacteria which can oxidize and break down PCBs having 5 or fewer chlorine atoms per molecule. The aerobic bacteria able to accomplish this second step are widely distributed in nature, and can easily be cultured in the laboratory.

 Proposed Application: Due to lack of treatment options in the past, PCB-contaminated river sediments have been removed by dredging and stockpiling. With the availability of BCIs culture, an engineered treatment system for these sediments could be constructed in which the first step consists of anaerobic conditions with BCI culture, reducing the level of chlorination of the PCBs to less than 6 chlorines per molecule. Then the material would be aerated to allow the aerobic bacteria to destroy the remaining low-chlorinated PCBs. BCI is looking for partners for field-testing its new culture.