Effect of pH on the anaerobic dechlorination of chlorophenols in a defined medium

Piero M. Armenante, David Kafkewitz, Chih Ju Jou, Gordon Lewandowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Anaerobic dehalogenation of aromatic compounds is a well-documented phenomenon. However, the effects of operating parameters such as pH have received little attention despite their potential impact on treatment processes using dehalogenating organisms. In this work the effect of pH on the dehalogenation of 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2,4,6-TCP) was studied using defined media containing one of several non-fermentable buffering agents (MOPS, TRICINE, BICINE, CHES), and no chloride ions. The dechlorination process was followed by monitoring the disappearance of 2,4,6-TCP, as well as the appearance of its dehalogenation products, i.e., 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP), 4-chlorophenol (4-CP), and chloride ions. The results indicate that dechlorination occurs only if the pH is within the range 8.0-8.8. The newly formed 2,4-DCP was also dehalogenated in the process. However, even within this pH range dechlorination ceased when all 2,4,6-TCP and 2,4-DCP was converted to 4-CP. Stoichiometric amounts of all dehalogenation products (including chloride) could be recovered at any stage during the process. In addition, the biomass concentration was measured. After an initial lag phase, it appeared that the rate of dechlorination per unit biomass (proportional to the Cl- concentration divided by the biomass concentration) went through a rapid increase and then remained constant throughout the process. This indicates that the dechlorinating organism(s) either make up the entire population or constitute a stable fraction of it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)772-777
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of pH on the anaerobic dechlorination of chlorophenols in a defined medium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this