Importance of Reductive Dechlorination in Chesapeake Bay Sediments Role of Sulfate Respiration

EPA Grant Number: R822444
Title: Importance of Reductive Dechlorination in Chesapeake Bay Sediments Role of Sulfate Respiration
Investigators: Capone, Douglas G. , Baker, Joel E. , Gilmour, Cynthia C.
Institution: University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science , BERL/Academy of Natural Sciences
Current Institution: University of Maryland
EPA Project Officer: Hiscock, Michael
Project Period: October 1, 1995 through September 1, 1998
Project Amount: $286,703
RFA: Exploratory Research - Chemistry and Physics of Water (1995) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Water , Land and Waste Management , Engineering and Environmental Chemistry


It is hypothesized that alternating redox conditions of Chesapeake Bay sediments would enhance the ultimate degradation of chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons (CAHs) by estuarine sulfate respiring bacteria (SRB). The primary goal of this project is to explore more thoroughly the capacity of the microbial flora of estuarine sediments, in particular SRB, to reductively dechlorinate CAHs.

Using a model chlorophenol, 2,4-dichlorophenol, the effect of sulfate and added electron donors on the acclimation period preceding reductive dechlorination will be characterized and an attempt to determine if an inducible protein is responsible for this activity will be undertaken. SRB isolates from the Chesapeake Bay will be screened for their ability to reductively dechlorinate CAHs. Environmental and chemical parameters relevant to CAH transformations and reductive dechlorination observed in this study are being related to the more extensive suite of parameters collected in long term studies of benthic biogeochemical processes and CAH distributions along the salinity gradient of the Chesapeake Bay.

Results from this project should identify a potentially important fate for CAHs in estuarine sediments, add to our base of knowledge concerning the diversity of SRB in nature and their importance in estuarine and marine ecosystems, and determine the environmental factors which affect dechlorination rates, thereby providing a basis for in situ bioremediation of heavily contaminated sites.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 6 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

water, sediments, sulfates, dechlorination, environmental chemistry, Chesapeake Bay., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Waste, Geographic Area, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Physics, Environmental Chemistry, Contaminated Sediments, HAPS, Chemistry, Ecological Effects - Environmental Exposure & Risk, Bioremediation, Mid-Atlantic, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, aquatic ecosystem, dechlorination, ecological exposure, marine ecosystem, electron donors, reductive dehalogenation, anaerobic biodegradability, environmental technology, bioremediation model, contaminated sites, decontamination of soil and water, microbial degradation, hydrocarbon, estuarine sediment, sediment toxicity, biodegradation, sediment, alternative redox conditions, contaminated sediment, chemical transport, chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons, Chesapeake Bay watershed, bioremediation of soils, contaminants in soil, in-situ bioremediation, estuarine ecosystems, inducible protein, reductive dechlorination, sediments, ecosystem response , benthic process, sulfate respiring bacteria, Chesapeake Bay, ecological response, Sulfate

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1996
  • 1997
  • Final Report