The Ecology of an Anaerobic Dechlorinating Consortium
The mechanisms used by anaerobic bacterial communities to degrade organic molecules are of interest not only to increase our understanding of biogeochemical cycling, but also to explore the potential of microorganisms to degrade xenobiotic molecules in anaerobic environments (12). This has been of increasing concern in recent years, as many man-made chemicals are found to be toxic or mutagenic. New methods must be found to dispose of these compounds when they are no longer of use and to clean up contaminated areas. Digestion by anaerobic bacteria is an attractive possibility for disposal of synthetic chemicals, because it can require less energy than other methods of waste disposal; construction costs for anaerobic treatment facilities are lower; and anaerobic digestion offers the possibility of recovering useful products, such as intermediary metabolites or methane gas (30). Studying these processes also aids in predicting the fate of xenobiotics that have been introduced into natural anaerobic envi-ronments.
KeywordsSewage Sludge Anaerobic Digestion Sodium Dithionite Rumen Fluid Anaerobic Biodegradation
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