Journal of basic microbiology

Kinetics of heavy metal inhibition of 1,2-dichloroethane biodegradation in co-contaminated water.

PMID 23687001


Sites co-contaminated with heavy metals and 1,2-DCA may pose a greater challenge for bioremediation, as the heavy metals could inhibit the activities of microbes involved in biodegradation. Therefore, this study was undertaken to quantitatively assess the effects of heavy metals (arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead) on 1,2-DCA biodegradation in co-contaminated water. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and concentrations of the heavy metals that caused half-life doubling (HLDs) of 1,2-DCA as well as the degradation rate coefficient (k(1)) and half-life (t(½)) of 1,2-DCA were measured and used to predict the toxicity of the heavy metals in the water microcosms. An increase in heavy metal concentration resulted in a progressive increase in the t(½) and relative t(½) and a decrease in k(1). The MICs and HLDs of the heavy metals were found to vary, depending on the heavy metals type. In addition, the presence of heavy metals was shown to inhibit 1,2-DCA biodegradation in a dose-dependent manner, with the following order of decreasing inhibitory effect: Hg(2+)  > As(3+)  > Cd(2+)  > Pb(2+). Findings from this study have significant implications for the development of bioremediation strategies for effective degradation of 1,2-DCA and other related compounds in wastewater co-contaminated with heavy metals.