Aerobic degradation of di- and trichlorobenzenes by two bacteria isolated from polluted tropical soils.
There is growing interest in the enhancement of microbial degradative activities as a means of bringing about the in situ cleanup of contaminated soils and ground water. The halogenated organic compounds are likely to be prime targets for such biotechnological processes because of their widespread utilisation and the biodegradability of many of the most commonly used compounds. The aim of this review is to consider the potential for microbiological cleanup of haloorganic-contaminated sites. The technologies available involve the provision of suitable environmental conditions to facilitate maximum biodegradation rates either in the subsurface or in on-site bioreactors. Methodologies include the supply of inorganic nutrients, the supply of oxygen gas, the addition of degradative microbial inocula and the introduction of co-metabolic substrates. The potential efficiencies and limitations of the methods are critically discussed from a microbiological viewpoint with respect to substrate degradability and population responses to supplementation.