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Aerobic biodegradation of 2,3- and 3,4-dichloronitrobenzene

Palatucci, Mallory L., Waidner, Lisa A., Mack, E. Erin, Spain, Jim C.
Journal of hazardous materials 2019 v.378 pp. 120717
DCB (herbicide), aerobic conditions, bacteria, biodegradability, biodegradation, bioreactors, bioremediation, chlorobenzene, diuron, enzymes, feedstocks, fluidized beds, genes, isomers, manufacturing, nitrites, nitrobenzenes, nucleotide sequences, Brazil
Dichloronitrobenzenes (DCNB) are intermediates in the production of dichloroanilines, which are key feedstocks for synthesis of diuron and other herbicides. Although DCNB is a major contaminant at certain chemical manufacturing sites, aerobic DCNB biodegradation is poorly understood and such sites have not been candidates for bioremediation. When a bench-scale aerobic fluidized- bed bioreactor was inoculated with samples from a DCNB contaminated site in Brazil 2,3-DCNB, 3,4-DCNB, 1,2-dichlorobenzene (o-DCB), and chlorobenzene (CB) were biodegraded simultaneously. Biodegradation of the mixture was complete even when the reactor was operated at high flow rates (1.6 h hydraulic residence time), and bacteria able to degrade the individual contaminants were isolated from the reactor by selective enrichment. The enrichments yielded 2 strains of bacteria able to degrade 3,4-DCNB and one able to degrade 2,3-DCNB. The isolates released nitrite during growth on the respective DCNB isomers under aerobic conditions. The draft genome sequence of Diaphorobacter sp. JS3050, which grew on 3,4-DCNB, revealed the presence of putative nitroarene dioxygenase genes, which is consistent with initial attack by a dioxygenase analogous to the initial steps in degradation of nitrobenzene and dinitrotoluenes. The results indicate clearly that the DCNB isomers are biodegradable under aerobic conditions and thus are candidates for natural attenuation/bioremediation.