Biological Reductive Dehalogenation: It’s Not Just For Chlorinateds Anymore

By: Will Harms, Bioremediation Services Practitioner

In recent years, polyfluorinated pollutants have emerged as recalcitrant pollutants with limited remediation options – but new options may be on the horizon.

Fluorinated compounds are naturally harder to biodegrade than their chlorinated cousins due to the carbon‑fluorine bond (C‑F) being stronger than carbon‑chlorine bonds (C-Cl). The conventional paradigm that polyfluorinated compounds – like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) – are not subject to effective bioremediation is finally being challenged.

A recent article by Yu et al. 20201 illuminates the possibility that conventional anaerobic biostimulation techniques, such as those commonly used to bioremediate polychlorinated compounds, can also biodegrade fluorinated compounds when augmented with defluorinating bacteria cultures.

This means that bioremediation bacteria cultures that work on polyfluorinated pollutants could be on their way to market – aiding your approach to remediation strategies and decision-making.

To learn more, contact our subject matter experts: Laurel Seus, Remediation Microbiologist or Will Harms.

1 Microbial Cleavage of C–F Bonds in Two C6 Per- and Polyfluorinated Compounds via Reductive Defluorination

Yaochun Yu, Kunyang Zhang, Zhong Li, Changxu Ren, Jin Chen, Ying-Hsuan Lin, Jinyong Liu, and Yujie Men

Environmental Science & Technology Article ASAP

DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.0c04483

Graphic (source: Yu et al. 20201)

 

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