Medical University of South Carolina
Integrating Microbial Biostimulation and Electrolytic Aeration to Degrade POPs
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided administrative supplement funds to accelerate the pace of research at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Harold May is working to complete a combined process where anaerobic dechlorination and aerobic degradation of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) are stimulated and support in situ bioaugmentation and the application of electric current to provide a constant supply of electrons and oxygen for dechlorinating and degrading bacteria. This funding helps increase the supplies needed to process more PCB samples and to increase the labor applied to the project by having a technician on staff to rapidly analyze enough samples for PCBs and their degradation products, and the apparent competition. The purchase of a High Performance Liquid Chromatograph was purchased to rapidly analyze chlorobenzoates produced by the aerobic degradation of the PCBs. Funding is supporting full-time status of a graduate student to examine the dechlorinating and methanogenic communities in relation to the electrolytic gradient formed, and determine how the methanogenic process can be minimized or eliminated, perhaps electrochemically.