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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in water and sediment: simulation tests

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Description of key information

Tetrachloroethylene was degraded in water and sediment under anaerobic conditions. The anaerobic transformation seems to occur more readily in the presence of other substrates. 

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Tetrachloroethylene was degraded in water and sediment under anaerobic conditions. The process of reductive dechlorination under anaerobic conditions results in the formation of lower chlorinated homologs as intermediates, tetrachloroethylene is found to be dechlorinated stepwise via trichloroethylene, cis-1,2-dichloroethene, and vinyl chloride. The terminal product of the reaction is always ethylene which then can be reduced to ethane. The anaerobic reductive dechlorination seems to occur more readily in the presence of co-substrate such as methanol and hydrogen.